Local news

Building ‘a total loss’ after three-alarm fire

The Mayfair Professional Building bursts into flames during a three-alarm fire at Central Avenue and Mayfair Street, Friday, July 5, 2012. A dentist working in the office smelled smoke and called 911 shortly before 4 p.m. Responding firefighters had entered the building, but were forced to pull out when the blaze escalated. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
The Mayfair Professional Building bursts into flames during a three-alarm fire at Central Avenue and Mayfair Street, Friday, July 5, 2012. A dentist working in the office smelled smoke and called 911 shortly before 4 p.m. Responding firefighters had entered the building, but were forced to pull out when the blaze escalated. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

The Mayfair Professional Building collapsed early Saturday morning after a three-alarm fire gutted the space Friday afternoon.

Firefighters battled the blaze throughout the night, Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said, pouring water on hot spots in the two-story building on 5901 N. Mayfair St.

Sometime early Saturday morning, the building collapsed, and demolition crews tore down what was left standing of the office, Schaeffer said. No one was injured.

The building, which housed several medical offices, had a lightweight frame, making it more susceptible to collapse, Schaeffer said.

“It wasn’t as sturdy or as resistant to fire as some of the other buildings in that neighborhood,” he said.

On Friday, firefighters evacuated onlookers from the surrounding parking lots out of fear for possible explosions from anesthesia gases kept in tanks in the building. Though the containers did not explode, Schaeffer said it was safer to keep people away from the scene.

“Those compressed gas cylinders can essentially become rockets,” he said.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries in the blaze. One had a back injury, and the other suffered heat-related injuries. Schaeffer said they were treated and released and should return to work soon.

It’s uncertain how much equipment was lost in the fire. Safes, computer servers and several critical pieces of medical equipment were recovered, Schaeffer said.

However, he added because of the extent of the damage, it will be difficult to determine what was destroyed.

“It really appears that a majority of the building is a total loss,” Schaeffer said.

Investigators have not determined the fire’s cause.



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