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Investigators: “Smoking materials” to blame for high-rise apartment fire

Tenants evacuated through smoky stairwells; building has no sprinkler system

Fire investigators believe “smoking materials” are to blame for Tuesday’s blaze in a high-rise apartment building on West Spokane Falls Boulevard in Spokane.

More than 60 firefighters responded to the three-alarm fire at the Park Tower Apartments after a stream of 911 callers reported heavy smoke drifting from the 17th floor. The first call came in at 3:35 p.m., and the fire was declared under control at 4:02 p.m., according to a city news release.

More than 100 tenants from the upper floors of the building were evacuated through stairwells that were beginning to fill with smoke, the release said. The road was closed temporarily during rush-hour traffic.

As the building has no fire sprinklers, firefighters had to climb the stairwells with their equipment to supply pressurized water to the 17th floor. Crews included firefighters from the Spokane, Spokane Valley and District 8 fire departments.

No injuries were reported, but a family living in a 17th-floor apartment was displaced and referred to the American Red Cross. Others were allowed to return to their apartments.


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