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Tuesday, June 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Fire officials can’t determine if arson caused hotel parking garage fire

UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 19, 2018, 10:52 p.m.

Fire damage to this parking garage near Providence Sacred Heart Hospital was so severe that is was unsafe for fire investigators. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Fire damage to this parking garage near Providence Sacred Heart Hospital was so severe that is was unsafe for fire investigators. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

City officials have ended an investigation into a November parking garage fire near Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and were unable to determine if the building burned from arson, because it was too damaged for investigators to enter safely.

Michele Anderson, spokesperson for the Spokane Fire Department, said the building, at 675 S. McClellan St., is unsafe and has been turned over to developer Hospitality Associates, LLC. The company is building a Hampton Inn & Suites hotel and the 59,248-square-foot multistory parking garage.

“It’s going to be undetermined because of how much damage was done,” Anderson said.

Hospitality Associates, based in Spokane Valley, is a hotel management company that manages more than 75 hotels on the West Coast and Alaska. It began construction on the buildings in 2016. The hotel was expected to open in spring 2017.

Hospitality Associates did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The building is fenced off and is not breaking any fire code laws, Anderson said. The building’s future is up to the owners, who, Anderson said, are likely working with their insurance company to determine a plan. It’s unknown if the building will be torn down or if construction can continue.

The garage caught fire Nov. 16, burning mostly unused hotel furniture and construction materials. Fire crews were evacuated from the building and the ceiling partially collapsed.

The hotel has signs of trespassing, seen from the graffiti on the side of the building, and officials said arson was a possibility.

“Construction materials don’t just automatically start on fire,” Anderson said in November.

Investigators looked at surveillance footage from surrounding businesses, but were unable to draw any conclusions.

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