Firefighters spent Tuesday afternoon cleaning up a fire that devastated the renovation effort in a century-old home in North Spokane.
Logan Neighborhood onlookers watched flames and black smoke shoot out of the roof of the home at 728 E. Mission Ave., which had been converted to a four-unit apartment building.
Among the gathering crowd of Gonzaga University students and neighbors, Gina Ferraiuolo watched the scene unfold. She stayed because her car was blocked by a long line of fire hoses that snaked around the neighborhood.
“It’s a beautiful home – it’s a multi-unit apartment complex inside, but it’s still beautifully restored,” Ferraiuolo said. “It’s kind of sad to see something so beautiful go up.”
Property owner Kyle Hare stood by and watched his family’s history burn. He said he was visiting his father when he received a call from a tenant telling him about the fire.
He put the final touches of paint on the home’s detailed exterior in October and planned to continue the long process of modernizing the home.
“I put a lot of hours in it,” Hare said.
The home has been in the Hare family for three generations.
“This is devastating knowing that it’s been in the Hare family since the 1940s and the heritage and the history of the Hare boys that have lived here – Grandma’s sons,” Hare said. “I wanted to pass it on to my sons and keep it in the family.”
Hare said he had the paperwork to begin a historical preservation process, but he still had a long way to go.
The investigation continues, but Spokane Fire Chief Bobby Williams said the fire was located primarily in the building’s attic and damaged the second floor.
A Spokane firefighter emerges from the apartment building covered in ash and dust. (S-R Photo: Tyler Tjomsland)
Only two of the building’s units were occupied by renters at the time of the fire.
One tenant, a woman who asked not to be identified, said she was cleaning her kitchen when she was rushed out of her home barefoot.
She had just enough time to run back in and grab some slippers, which eventually were soaked in the soggy street.
Bill Cox, second from left, talks to a friend after his first-floor apartment was destroyed during a fire. (S-R Photo: Tyler Tjomsland)
Another tenant, Bill Cox, said he has lived on the ground-floor unit for about two years and had just brought home groceries when passing drivers stopped to knock on his door.
A firefighter suffered a slight injury that did not require treatment at a hospital, according to a Spokane Fire Department news release.