April 2, 2010 in City

Empty house fire in Spokane under investigation

By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photo

Spokane firefighters work to extinguish a structure fire at the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Regal Street on Thursday night. The house, which had a for-sale sign out front, was a total loss.
(Full-size photo)

A two-alarm fire described by authorities as suspicious destroyed a large vacant home Thursday night in northeast Spokane.

The vacant home, located at 2513 N. Regal St., was engulfed in flames when Spokane firefighters rolled onto the scene, said Battalion Chief Dave Hayworth. A neighbor reported seeing suspicious activity at the house shortly before the flames erupted.

“It just started slowly collapsing as we started to fight it,” Hayworth said. “It will be totally destroyed.”

Cause of the 8:22 p.m. blaze was undetermined but investigators confirmed they consider it “suspicious” and were expected to remain at the scene throughout the night.

A neighbor, Gary Shastany, said the house has been boarded up for an extended period of time following a previous fire.

Shortly before the fire broke out, Shastany said he saw activity outside the house that caught his attention.

“I saw somebody over there with a flashlight pulling boards down off the windows,” he said. “Then I saw what looked like the glow of a candle and then what looked like the glow of a fireplace. That’s when I called the Fire Department.”

County records show the property is owned by First Metro LLC, based in Boulder City, Nev.

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