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Office building in north Spokane falls after blaze

Sun., July 7, 2013, midnight

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

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

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

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 tanks of anesthesia gases 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.

Safes, computer servers and several critical pieces of medical equipment were recovered from the building, 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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