May 12, 2009 in City, News

Fire in abandoned historic building called suspicious

By The Spokesman-Review

Authorities are calling a fire that damaged an abandoned building in Spokane Valley this evening suspicious.

The building, which used to house a bicycle shop, is located along Sprague Avenue in what’s known as the historic Perry block. Smoke was seen drifting out of the building about 8 p.m. and Spokane Valley firefighters discovered flames in the basement of the two-story brick building, said Bill Clifford, deputy fire marshal.

Witnesses said three teens were seen leaving the vacant building shortly before the fire was phoned in to 911, Clifford said.

Eastbound lanes of Sprague Avenue were temporarily closed as firefighters doused the blaze and made sure none of the flames had spread into nearby buildings, which have adjoining walls. Dave’s Bar and Grill, a popular Valley hangout, was briefly evacuated but quickly reopened.

The abandoned building is scheduled for demolition soon. It is being cleared to make way for a new Rite-Aid drug store at the intersection of Pines and Sprague.

Anyone with information about the fire or the teens seen running from the building are asked to call 242-TIPS (8477).

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