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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Arson inside county’s juvenile lock-up the latest in string of troubles

From our archives, 100 years ago

The troubles at the Spokane County Juvenile Detention facility continued.

One of the juvenile inmates smuggled in a supply of matches and set fire to a bed in the dormitory. At dinner, one of the other boys smelled smoke and alerted a matron. She rushed into the dormitory and found a bed in flames. She and some of the other boys “drowned the fire with a supply of water before the fire department arrived.”

Fire investigators said it was a “deliberate attempt … to destroy the building,” And they said it wouldn’t take much for such an attempt to succeed. Fire officials called it a “fire trap with pine partitions” and said the county must either fireproof the building or remove the 20 inmates.

Arthur Easter, 14, the boy suspected of smuggling in the matches, was taken into custody the day before along with his brother George Easter. They were suspected in the shooting of a boy at the “parental school,” a school for troubled youth.

Thomas Lowery, 13, was shot through the calf.

From the entertainment beat: The great Alexander, nicknamed “The White Mahatma,” was beginning a 12-day engagement at the Auditorium Theater. He and his troupe of 24 performers were promising a two-hour show of “legerdemain, psychic demonstrations and spiritual seances.”

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