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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Crime/Public Safety

Fire started by barbecue displaces 17 people from Spokane Valley apartments

June 5, 2021 Updated Sat., June 5, 2021 at 5:38 p.m.

A fire at an apartment building in Veradale rendered seven apartments unlivable and displaced 17 people Friday after a propane barbecue caught fire, officials said.

Spokane Valley firefighters arrived on the 15400 block of East Fourth Avenue in Spokane Valley around 6:45 p.m. Friday and requested more units as soon as they saw a column of smoke coming from the building, according to a Spokane Valley Fire Department news release.

Crews quickly hit the fire from the outside with a fire hose before heading into the second story to find potential victims. No one was inside and firefighters reported no injuries to residents or responders, the release said.

Firefighters got the blaze under control within 10 minutes of arriving.

Firefighters traced the fire to a second-story balcony where a propane barbecue was placed too close to combustible materials, the release said.

Two apartments were heavily damaged, four others had minor smoke damage and one unit on the first floor had smoke and water damage, according to the release.

Four families received assistance with temporary housing from Red Cross overnight.

More families that weren’t home during the fire may need help in coming days, according to a Red Cross news release.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department urged residents to monitor their barbecues at all times and to “consider not using them on an apartment balcony.”

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