Four residents were treated for smoke inhalation after an “aggressive, violent fire” destroyed a Hillyard apartment building Tuesday night and early Wednesday.
“It was a really dangerous situation,” said Brian Schaeffer, assistant chief of the Spokane Fire Department.
Schaeffer said the first unit on scene immediately set up to attempt to rescue people on the second floor but were knocked back by the fire. The people ended up exiting the building on their own, Schaeffer said. The roof of the building at 2918 E. Diamond Ave. collapsed, and the fire threatened to spread to two adjacent apartment buildings, he said.
Firefighters worked through the night, not clearing the scene until 4 a.m. Wednesday, Schaeffer said.
More than a dozen people were evacuated both from the burning building and from apartment buildings on either side because the power had to be shut off, said Pat Kondas, a volunteer for the American Red Cross. Some news reports placed the number of people evacuated as high as 26. A temporary shelter was set up at Rogers High School, Kondas said.
The Red Cross also will provide food, clothing and shelter to any residents of the burned building who need it, Kondas said.
The cause of the fire was still being investigated.