A homebuilding crunch that has persisted for years promises to frustrate first-time homebuyers in Spokane and stymie efforts to quickly rebuild homes in fire-ravaged Medical Lake and northern Spokane County.
Steve McBride guided his Jeep Compass through the dense smoke. The landscape of once golden-brown ponderosa pines and tan brittle grasses was charred and smoldering. Just hours before, police had escorted him out of his home. But he was headed back into the flames, determined to turn his neighborhood's water back on and give fire crews a fighting chance.
Three weeks after the Gray fire burned 240 homes in Medical Lake and the surrounding area, lawyers are conducting their own investigation into what started the blaze and allege it may have involved electrical lines and other equipment.