Firefighters responded to a working structure fire in Browne’s Addition at 3:38 p.m. Tuesday.
Crews saw flames and thick black smoke billowing out of a two-story, eight-car garage when they arrived at 2230 West Pacific Avenue.
They had to change their tactics when fighting the fire because of a Volkswagen minivan in the garage, said Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer with the Spokane Fire Department. Volkswagen engines contain magnesium, which burns very hot and is worsened by water, he said.
Crews extinguished the fire 30 minutes after they arrived. No one was injured and it did not spread to surrounding buildings.
The closest fire companies were not available to respond because a separate fire occurred almost simultaneously at 3rd and Maple Street, in which two people were thought to be trapped in a burning car.
“The simultaneous incidents led to a longer than expected delay and extremely rapid fire growth,” a news release said.
Four vehicles were destroyed in the blaze and the garage sustained “varied levels of damage.”
The Spokane Fire Department’s Special Investigation Unit is still investigating the cause of the fire.