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Firefighters douse burning garage; four cars destroyed

Second fire downtown slows aid

Firefighters responded to a 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 W. Pacific Ave.

They had to change their tactics when fighting the fire because of a Volkswagen minivan in the garage, said Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer of 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 the fire did not spread to surrounding buildings.

The closest fire companies were not available to respond because a separate fire occurred almost simultaneously at Third Avenue and Maple Street, in which two people were thought to be trapped in a burning car. But no one was trapped, fire officials said.

“The simultaneous incidents led to a longer than expected delay and extremely rapid fire growth,” Schaeffer said in a news release.

Four vehicles were destroyed in the garage blaze and the garage sustained “varied levels of damage.”

The department’s Special Investigation Unit is still investigating the fire’s cause.

Raw footage from the scene
Interview with witness


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