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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Saturday, June 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Nation/World

Fire-Damaged Designer Decal Maintains Operation

As investigators search for the person who set last week’s fire at Designer Decal Inc., company employees take orders for their products in a temporary location a block away.

A massive fire that destroyed the company’s production facility at 1120 E. First last Friday night hasn’t put Designer Decal out of business, said General Manager Dan Pack.

“We’re very much still in business,” Pack said from temporary headquarters at 1216 E. First.

While the blaze destroyed the shop where employees produced decals for boat trailers and other equipment, it did not damage administrative offices where the designs were stored on computers, Pack said.

“Our records were not damaged. The brains of the outfit are still intact,” he said. “We’re not all out on the streets. We just appreciate our customers’ patience.”

Owner Keith Smeltzer is making plans to rebuild the production facility on the same site, Pack said.

“This is where insurance pays off,” Pack said. “We’ve already gotten some money to begin rebuilding.”

Pack said he has no idea who could have started the fire. “There are no obvious answers to that,” Pack said.

Capt. Ernie Nye, arson investigator for the Spokane Fire Department, said more than one fire was set inside the building.

“There were no accidental sources of ignition in the areas where the fire started,” Nye said. “Someone did something in at least two different locations to start the fire.”

There was no evidence that accelerants like gasoline or kerosene were used, Nye added. It appears that someone piled “common combustibles” like paper, rags or cardboard and ignited them, he said.

Fire officials haven’t ruled out the possibility that a thrill-seeker set the fires, Nye said. One door to the building had been left unlocked Friday night, he said.

“There’s always the chance that it was a transient who likes to set fires,” Nye said. “Anything is possible at this point.”

Authorities have offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the blaze. People with information should call 625-7053.

, DataTimes

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