Thursday, November 20, 2008

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Fire Press Release

SSUING OFFICER: Ken Kirsch/Battalion Chief
DATE OF INCIDENT: 11/19/2008
INCIDENT TYPE: Structure Fire
CITY: Spokane

NARRATIVE: On 11/19/08 at approximately 0650 hrs units of the City of Spokane Fire Department responded to 3122 E Gordon upon report of a structure fire. The first arriving apparatus on scene found smoke coming from the south-east portion of an approximately 60'X90', one story, wood-frame, commercial structure. The commercial structure was divided into approximately 8 separate units, each being used for a different purpose. The unit in which the fire occurred was used mostly for wood-working and wood floor installation. Fire crews forced open doors on both the north and south sides of the building and then advanced pre-connected hose-lines into those areas to extinguish the fire. While the hose-lines were being positioned, other crews accessed the roof for ventilation purposes and still other crews searched the building for any possible life hazards that might still in the structure. Search and Rescue crews continued the search as news that a civilian may be living in the building was reported. The search for the civilian was hampered by the conditions encountered by firefighters. The search area was accessed by breaching finished walls of two adjacent units. The search area was full of boxes and other ordinary items stacked from floor to near ceiling levels. The boxes numbered in the hundreds or possibly thousands, with various small living areas being found among the boxes. Fire-fighters found pathways under the boxes which led to and from the living areas. The civilian was found in an upper area of the boxes, obscured from view. Fire Department Para-medics attempted to revive the male victim but were unsuccessful.

A total of 28 firefighters on 11 apparatus fought this blaze. The fire was brought under control within approximately 30 minutes of fire-fighters arrival on scene. Firefighters remained on scene for approximately another 2 hrs before turning the scene over to fire investigators. No injuries were reported to firefighters.

PROBABLE CAUSE: The main body of fire was confined to a small room in the wood-floor installation unit. The fire appears to have originated in this room, in an area near the wood-stove. Less fire damage was evident in other areas of this unit. Smoke damage was evident throughout the wood floor installation unit, and to some extent, to almost all the units of the commercial structure. Investigation of the incident is being conducted by the Spokane Fire Department.
DAMAGE EXTENT: Total dollar loss is approximately $30,000.
MUTUAL AID: None Given

For more information on this release, please call (509)625-7002 and/or check out the SFD Blog at