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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Many of area’s suspicious fires remain unsolved

The Spokesman-Review

Suspicious fires in the region that remain unsolved include:

Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, Dec. 5, 2006: A fire in the foyer of the downtown Spokane church caused $80,000 in damage. Damage was limited because additional crews were immediately called to protect the 103-year-old building.

Bong’s Market, July 30, 2006: Arson destroyed the West Central neighborhood grocery owned by Bong Cho. Firefighters had trouble getting into the building because of its barred windows.

Kennedy Apartment Complex, March 13, 2006: Fires were set in multiple parts of the $11 million Gonzaga University complex while it was under construction at Sharp Avenue and Ruby Street. The sprinkler system had been installed but not turned on. Gonzaga rebuilt the complex.

Valley Mission Park Stables, Feb. 23, 2006: It’s never been determined for certain if the fire that destroyed all but 16 of the park’s 47 stables was arson or accident, but large amounts of decomposing straw helped the blaze spread quickly.

The Cotton Club, Nov. 20, 2005: The Hayden nightspot burned at a time when the owners were remodeling it. Firefighters suspected arson and even called in the ATF for help, but no one was ever charged.

Warehouse fire spree, 2003: One arsonist may be behind a series of fires at north Spokane warehouses in mid-2003, including Castle Rock Industries, Lincoln Container and Packaging, and the Ugly Duck. Later that year a suspicious fire burned down Prudential Distributors. Damage caused by all the fires was in the millions of dollars.

Mars Hotel, July 16, 1999: A spectacular blaze leveled the Mars Hotel and Casino and left more than 100 people in a neighboring apartment building homeless. Investigators found accelerant in the building’s basement. The business had closed after its owners didn’t pay millions of dollars in debts. The fire was investigated by the ATF, but no one was ever charged.

– Amy Cannata

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

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