Fire ripped through a midtown Coeur d’Alene business and upstairs apartment early Tuesday, chasing one man from the building.
The man, who lives in the apartment, suffered from minor smoke inhalation and was treated by paramedics, said Richard Kirsh, Coeur d’Alene’s fire chief. Damage to the building at 821 N. Fourth St. was extensive.
Investigators from the Kootenai County Arson Task Force spent most of the day searching the building that houses Elias Tailor Shop for the cause of the fire, but by late Tuesday they had no answers. The fire was reported at 3:07 a.m.
Most of the damage was on the south side of the building, Kirsh said.
Flames had burned out of the upstairs windows, crumpled the building’s siding and charred the walls by the time firefighters arrived. Broken glass sprinkled the sidewalk and a driveway.
About 20 firefighters from Coeur d’Alene Fire Department and Kootenai County Fire Protection District No. 1 were called to fight the fire. None were injured.
Damage was estimated at more than $100,000.
“All of the (units in the) building suffered extensive smoke damage,” Kirsh said.
Timeless Treasures, a neighboring business, smelled of smoke but avoided serious damage. The collectibles store was open for business Tuesday while four portable fans pushed circulated fresh air through the store.
“When I got here, we were all taped off, but the fire chief went through and said we were OK,” said employee Judy Sarber. “We just had some minor smoke damage.”
Two of the spaces under the apartment were being remodeled to house a beauty salon and Elias’s, said building owner Elias Hawatmeh. Hawatmeh declined further comment, saying his attorney had advised him to talk only to fire investigators.
Hawatmeh’s family also lives in the apartment, but was out of town, Kirsh said.
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