Fire forces temporary shelter evacuation
About 35 women were safely evacuated from the Hope House shelter when a small fire broke out in one of the rooms about 6:30 tonight.
Residents of the Volunteers of America women’s shelter at 111 W. Third Ave. were forced outside in 28-degree weather for 15 to 20 minutes. Spokane firefighters ushered them back inside as cleanup work continued.
“No one is going to be displaced here tonight,” Battalion Chief Craig Cornelius said.
He said the fire started in an unoccupied room that was used for storage. Apparently someone put some materials on top of a kitchen stove and accidentally turned it on, Cornelius said.
Fire damage was confined to the second-floor storage room, but water from automatic sprinklers damaged the first floor and basement.
Cornelius said the Fire Department was alerted by an automatic alarm system, and sprinklers had largely extinguished the blaze when firefighters arrived.