Arson Investigation Underway In $13 Million Pullman Apartment Fi - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Arson Investigation Underway In $13 Million Pullman Apartment Fire

Posted: Updated:
PULLMAN, Wash. -

After four vacant apartment buildings went up in flames in an early morning three-alarm blaze Sunday, six investigators from Pullman Fire, Pullman Police and Washington State University Police are sorting through the charred rubble.

Pullman Fire Chief Mike Heston confirmed to KHQ's Kelsey Watts an arson dog is being brought in to the Grove Apartments off Terre View Drive to aid in the investigation Tuesday to search for accelerants or other evidence that the fire may have been set on purpose.

"It's suspicious because it was so huge when we got here, and we're on a site where we don't have a lot of sources for ignition, so we're trying to rule those out," Heston added. "Until we rule it out, we're going to call it suspicious."

He said their first job is to rule out other potential causes; there were extension cords inside the buildings, and fire investigators will be looking at whether they had power as well as if other fuel sources were on the site.

So far, Heston believes the fire is not related to the string of four unsolved arson fires that were set near the WSU campus last summer, however that may change as new evidence in the investigation comes to light.

"We're taking this very seriously, as we took the other ones as well, but people's lives were at stake here on this one," Heston said.

The fire burned so fast and hot, Heston said the flames were 100 feet high when crews arrived on scene. Two neighboring apartment complexes were evacuated, as the intense heat melted the siding on the buildings. Heston said had the fire burned uncontrolled for another few minutes, one of those separate complexes full of students would have likely caught fire,

Right now, damages to the Grove Apartments are estimated at $13 million dollars.

Terry Boston, the Assistant Vice President for Administrative Services at WSU said the university will have a better idea in the next 24-48 hours of the impact on students as Campus Crest gets more information.

Boston said Campus Crest still plans to have 96 beds available by August 17th, two days before the beginning of the fall semester. WSU may be able to house another 100-200 students in its residence halls.

Campus Crest is in the process of contacting students who had signed leases for the now burned apartment buildings to make arrangements.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:51:52 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
  • 10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    Wednesday, November 27 2013 2:35 AM EST2013-11-27 07:35:08 GMT
    Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com. Yes, they all need some work and some need a lot more than others, but when your mortgage payment is around the $200/month range there's at least something to stay positive about.>>
  • Deputies searching for man after attempted child luring in Post Falls

    Deputies searching for man after attempted child luring in Post Falls

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:54:23 GMT
    KHQ.COM- The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office needs your help tracking down a man who tried to lure a young child away from their home. Deputies said the enticing attempt happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday in Post Falls.According to the sheriff's office, a man approached a 6-year-old child that was playing in the driveway of a home near S. Pine Ct. The man tried to lure the child away by asking for help looking for lost kittens, and the child's grandmother says the man briefly followed the child ...>>
    KHQ.COM- The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office needs your help tracking down a man who tried to lure a young child away from their home. Deputies said the enticing attempt happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday in Post Falls.According to the sheriff's office, a man approached a 6-year-old child that was playing in the driveway of a home near S. Pine Ct. The man tried to lure the child away by asking for help looking for lost kittens, and the child's grandmother says the man briefly followed the child ...>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • FLASH FLOOD WARNING for fire damaged areas

    FLASH FLOOD WARNING for fire damaged areas

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:41:18 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Potential afternoon thunderstorms expected Wednesday are a concern for the Carlton Complex fire because of the possibility of heavy rain and lightning strikes. Even a moderate 10-minute rain can cause flooding, debris flows, and landslides. >>>Flash Flood Warning Has Been Issued>>>>>
    KHQ.COM - Potential afternoon thunderstorms expected Wednesday are a concern for the Carlton Complex fire because of the possibility of heavy rain and lightning strikes. Even a moderate 10-minute rain can cause flooding, debris flows, and landslides. >>>Flash Flood Warning Has Been Issued>>>
    >>
  • UPDATE: Mills Canyon & Chiwaukum wildfires

    UPDATE: Mills Canyon & Chiwaukum wildfires

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:31 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:31:25 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Here are the latest updates as of 2:27pm on Wednesday for the Chiwaukum Complex Fire and the Mills Canyon Fire according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center Tuesday Morning Brief: Chiwaukum has now burned 12,225 acres and is 10% contained. Mills Canyon fire remains at 22,571 acres. It is 90% contained.
    >>
    KHQ.COM - Here are the latest updates as of 2:27pm on Wednesday for the Chiwaukum Complex Fire and the Mills Canyon Fire according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center Tuesday Morning Brief: Chiwaukum has now burned 12,225 acres and is 10% contained. Mills Canyon fire remains at 22,571 acres. It is 90% contained.
    >>
  • EWU reaches out to students impacted by Washington wildfires

    EWU reaches out to students impacted by Washington wildfires

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:21 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:21:15 GMT
    CHENEY, Wash. - In an effort to help students and their families impacted by the Carlton Complex fires, Eastern Washington University will send a team of financial aid counselors and outreach staff to Okanogan County to assist those who are planning to attend college this fall.>>
    CHENEY, Wash. - In an effort to help students and their families impacted by the Carlton Complex fires, Eastern Washington University will send a team of financial aid counselors and outreach staff to Okanogan County to assist those who are planning to attend college this fall.>>