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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Burned apartment building to be fixed up

Christopher Rodkey Staff writer

Plans are in the works to repair a burned apartment building on North Monroe, the owner’s son-in-law said Monday.

The Lloyd apartment building was gutted Aug. 12 when a three-alarm fire forced 28 residents into shelters and left two ground-level businesses closed.

Shoveling plaster out of a shattered second-story window, Jeremy Decker, son-in-law of owner Mark Agee, said the first priority is getting the two businesses – the Hi-Neighbor Tavern and Ron Bledsoe’s Karate Academy – back open. The tavern’s owner loaded boxes of beer into the back of his pickup Monday morning, along with the sign that faced the intersection of Monroe and Mansfield.

Decker, who lived in the second-floor corner apartment above the tavern and called 911 to report the fire, said he and a few other workers have made a full-time job out of cleaning out the rubble.

“The smoke smell has gone away quite a bit,” Decker said, decked in work pants and a hard hat. The apartment building’s front door was secured with a piece of wood through the handles, its ends charred.

One week before the fire, Decker told Agee that he would help renovate the building. Those plans were accelerated and expanded dramatically after the fire, Decker said.

“We’re going to try and save that third floor,” he said. “Moneywise, we won’t be able to rebuild the whole thing with the insurance, but we can get started.”

Agee plans on replacing the roof, then restoring the business fronts along Monroe Street, Decker said. Rebuilding the residential sections will take more time, he said.

While cleaning up, workers are trying to save historic elements of the 1911 building, like turn-of-the-century woodwork and a canopy over the entrance.

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