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

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>>

  • Retired Spokane Police captain seriously hurt in Costa Rica crash

    Retired Spokane Police captain seriously hurt in Costa Rica crash

    Monday, November 12 2018 10:31 PM EST2018-11-13 03:31:20 GMT
    Holly and Keith Cummings (Photo: GoFundMe)Holly and Keith Cummings (Photo: GoFundMe)

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A retired Spokane Police captain is fighting for his life in the hospital.   Keith Cummings and his wife Holly were on vacation in Costa Rica and got into a head-on crash with another truck on Friday. In an online fundraiser, their daughter, Rachel Durkin, said her mother is recovering in a hotel room with several facial fractures and a pelvic fracture.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A retired Spokane Police captain is fighting for his life in the hospital.   Keith Cummings and his wife Holly were on vacation in Costa Rica and got into a head-on crash with another truck on Friday. In an online fundraiser, their daughter, Rachel Durkin, said her mother is recovering in a hotel room with several facial fractures and a pelvic fracture.

    >>
  • Spokane congressional candidate starts petition to abolish 'safe storage' gun initiative

    Spokane congressional candidate starts petition to abolish 'safe storage' gun initiative

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 2:07 PM EST2018-11-13 19:07:28 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane congressional candidate has petitioned the White House to abolish the recently passed Initiative 1639. The initiative, passed by voters last week, is a sweeping package of stricter gun regulations, particularly semiautomatic rifles. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane congressional candidate has petitioned the White House to abolish the recently passed Initiative 1639. The initiative, passed by voters last week, is a sweeping package of stricter gun regulations, particularly semiautomatic rifles. 

    >>
  • Police: Grandfather fatally shoots grandson in self-defense

    Police: Grandfather fatally shoots grandson in self-defense

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 1:32 PM EST2018-11-13 18:32:25 GMT

    SEATTLE (AP) - Police say a 78-year-old Renton man fatally shot and killed his grandson in what police believe was an act of self-defense.    The Seattle Times reports police were called to a Renton home Saturday night, where a 26-year-old man had reportedly assaulted his mother, said Renton police Cmdr. Dave Leibman. 

    >>

    SEATTLE (AP) - Police say a 78-year-old Renton man fatally shot and killed his grandson in what police believe was an act of self-defense.    The Seattle Times reports police were called to a Renton home Saturday night, where a 26-year-old man had reportedly assaulted his mother, said Renton police Cmdr. Dave Leibman. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Santa Express in need of volunteers

    Santa Express in need of volunteers

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 10:05 PM EST2018-11-14 03:05:19 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - It's about to be the busiest time of the year. for volunteers at Santa Express, this is when they give back. "100 percent of our revenue goes back to the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery," Director Hayley Lydig said. Last year, that total was $100,000. They've got the toys covered, it's the elves they're in desperate need of.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - It's about to be the busiest time of the year. for volunteers at Santa Express, this is when they give back. "100 percent of our revenue goes back to the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery," Director Hayley Lydig said. Last year, that total was $100,000. They've got the toys covered, it's the elves they're in desperate need of.

    >>
  • Sheriff: Death toll raises to 48 in N. California wildfire

    Sheriff: Death toll raises to 48 in N. California wildfire

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 9:44 PM EST2018-11-14 02:44:47 GMT

    PARADISE, Calif. (AP) - Authorities have reported six more fatalities from a blaze in Northern California, bringing the total number of fatalities so far to 48 in the deadliest wildfire in state history.    The announcement came Tuesday after authorities ramped up the search for more victims buried in rubble left by the blaze that incinerated the town of Paradise.

    >>

    PARADISE, Calif. (AP) - Authorities have reported six more fatalities from a blaze in Northern California, bringing the total number of fatalities so far to 48 in the deadliest wildfire in state history.    The announcement came Tuesday after authorities ramped up the search for more victims buried in rubble left by the blaze that incinerated the town of Paradise.

    >>
  • "It could be much worse here": Spokane fire chief talks wildfire prevention

    "It could be much worse here": Spokane fire chief talks wildfire prevention

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 9:36 PM EST2018-11-14 02:36:55 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaffer doesn't have to look far to see what he loves about the Inland Northwest. "I'm standing outside in an urban environment and I can see the side of a hillside that is just absolutely beautiful. I mean, where can you go and do that other than the Pacific Northwest?" Schaffer said. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaffer doesn't have to look far to see what he loves about the Inland Northwest. "I'm standing outside in an urban environment and I can see the side of a hillside that is just absolutely beautiful. I mean, where can you go and do that other than the Pacific Northwest?" Schaffer said. 

    >>