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>>

  • BEAUTIFUL HOMES: Top 10 Most Expensive Homes For Sale In CDA

    BEAUTIFUL HOMES: Top 10 Most Expensive Homes For Sale In CDA

    Tuesday, March 25 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-03-25 13:20:34 GMT
    KHQ.COM - When it comes to shopping around for a house, it's always fun to dream. We did a search for some of the most expensive homes for sale right now in the Coeur d' Alene area.>>
    KHQ.COM - When it comes to shopping around for a house, it's always fun to dream. We did a search for some of the most expensive homes for sale right now in the Coeur d' Alene area.>>
  • LOOKING FOR A HOME? Here Are 15 Homes For Sale For $175,000

    LOOKING FOR A HOME? Here Are 15 Homes For Sale For $175,000

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:08 AM EDT2014-04-15 14:08:47 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Spring is a popular time for those looking to buy or sell their home! We found 15 homes currently for sale in Spokane and surrounding areas all priced at $175,000. These homes were found on WindermereSpokane.Com for more information on a particular property, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
    KHQ.COM - Spring is a popular time for those looking to buy or sell their home! We found 15 homes currently for sale in Spokane and surrounding areas all priced at $175,000. These homes were found on WindermereSpokane.Com for more information on a particular property, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
  • Spokane Police Respond To Shots Fired Early Saturday Morning

    Spokane Police Respond To Shots Fired Early Saturday Morning

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:46 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:46:42 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- An investigation is underway into shots fired in two separate places early Saturday morning. Police say the first shooting happened on the 1600 block of East Mission. Two armed men forced their way into an apartment and the victim tried to disarm them.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- An investigation is underway into shots fired in two separate places early Saturday morning. Police say the first shooting happened on the 1600 block of East Mission. Two armed men forced their way into an apartment and the victim tried to disarm them.
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Fallen Hero Banner Project Denied From Marching In Seafair Torchlight Parade

    Fallen Hero Banner Project Denied From Marching In Seafair Torchlight Parade

    Sunday, April 20 2014 2:32 PM EDT2014-04-20 18:32:42 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - This year the Fallen Hero Banner project, which honors men and women from Washington who have died serving our country, applied to march in the Seafair Torchlight Parade in Seattle. However, the organization was denied by the parade selection committee via email saying, "the Fallen Hero Banner Project was not the right fit for the Torchlight Parade.">>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - This year the Fallen Hero Banner project, which honors men and women from Washington who have died serving our country, applied to march in the Seafair Torchlight Parade in Seattle. However, the organization was denied by the parade selection committee via email saying, "the Fallen Hero Banner Project was not the right fit for the Torchlight Parade.">>
  • Grand Coulee Fishing Spot Closed Since 9/11 Opens

    Grand Coulee Fishing Spot Closed Since 9/11 Opens

    Sunday, April 20 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-04-20 18:29:06 GMT
    GRAND COULEE, Wash. (AP) - A popular fishing spot below the Grand Coulee Dam has reopened for the first time since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.The area on Rufus Woods Lake from Highway 155 to the base of the dam is considered one of the best fishing spots on the upper Columbia River.It had been closed due to security concerns ever since 9/11.>>
    GRAND COULEE, Wash. (AP) - A popular fishing spot below the Grand Coulee Dam has reopened for the first time since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.The area on Rufus Woods Lake from Highway 155 to the base of the dam is considered one of the best fishing spots on the upper Columbia River.It had been closed due to security concerns ever since 9/11.
    >>
  • Utah Man Arrested In Child Enticement Sting In Idaho

    Utah Man Arrested In Child Enticement Sting In Idaho

    Sunday, April 20 2014 2:26 PM EDT2014-04-20 18:26:18 GMT
    CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) - Idaho prosecutors have charged a Utah man with felony child enticement after he allegedly arranged to meet an undercover officer representing himself online as a 15-year-old girl.Allen B. Johnson was arrested Friday afternoon at the Caldwell restaurant where authorities said the 48-year-old Provo man was to meet who he thought was the teenager.>>
    CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) - Idaho prosecutors have charged a Utah man with felony child enticement after he allegedly arranged to meet an undercover officer representing himself online as a 15-year-old girl.Allen B. Johnson was arrested Friday afternoon at the Caldwell restaurant where authorities said the 48-year-old Provo man was to meet who he thought was the teenager.>>