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South Hill apartment complex catches fire

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 2, 2018, 10:08 p.m.

An apartment complex on Spokane’s South Hill caught fire Thursday afternoon, seriously damaging two units and the attic.

Spokane County Fire District 8 Chief Tony Nielsen said no one was injured in the fire, which started near the pool at the Cedar Canyon Villas apartment complex, but that at least two of the 12 units in the building were seriously damaged. He said the fire was called in at 3:57 p.m. and both Fire District 8 and the Spokane Fire Department responded. He said the cause is under investigation.

Leah Schaeffer, resident manager for the complex, said only one of the two residents who was displaced had renters insurance.

A resident who was working beside the pool, Jerry Sigismonti, said he saw smoke coming from a balcony and told a nearby employee to call 911. Sigismonti, who is a retired Air Force master sergeant, said he rushed into the building and warned the residents in the upstairs and downstairs units. He also knocked on the doors of the other apartments in the building, but the residents weren’t home.

Sigismonti said he didn’t run through flames or do anything dangerous, but he could tell the fire was moving quickly and wanted to make sure everyone was safe.

“Not to sound cliche,” Sigismonti said, “but things can be replaced, people can’t.”

The portion of roof directly above the unit that caught fire was missing in sections, and the far wall of the apartment was destroyed. Schaeffer said she believes that the lower unit sustained significant smoke and water damage.


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