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Fire at STCU branch called suspicious

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 7, 2012, 3:45 p.m.

Fire investigators say a 4:30 a.m. blaze at an STCU branch under construction on Moran Prairie is suspicious.

The investigation isn’t complete, but “there is strong reason to believe” that the fire was set intentionally, Spokane County Fire District 8 Chief Bill Walkup said in a news release.

Investigators used the help of Mako, an accelerant-sniffing dog, at the site today, the release said.

The fire burned portions of the branch at 5711 S. Hailee Lane. The branch is under construction and is scheduled to open in November. STCU said earlier today that the opening likely would not be delayed by the fire.

“It’s remarkable that the building was not more heavily damaged,” STCU Community Relations Manager Traci McGlathery said in a news release. She added that the Spokane-based credit union is grateful to firefighters as well as to citizens who saw the fire and called 911.

STCU broke ground on June 25 on the 4,096-square-foot building. It will be the credit union’s 16th branch in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

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