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Spokane man airlifted to Seattle burn unit after Saturday apartment fire that sent a mother to hospital

UPDATED: Sun., June 20, 2021

A fire gutted a north Spokane apartment building Saturday afternoon, sending at least seven people to the hospital. One man was taken by helicopter to the state’s leading burn unit in Seattle.  (Alayna Shulman/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
A fire gutted a north Spokane apartment building Saturday afternoon, sending at least seven people to the hospital. One man was taken by helicopter to the state’s leading burn unit in Seattle. (Alayna Shulman/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Alayna Shulman and Colin Tiernan The Spokesman-Review

A man was flown to Harborview Medical Center on Saturday after a fire destroyed part of a north Spokane apartment.

Harborview is home to Washington’s leading burn center.

Spokane Fire Department Deputy Chief of Operations Julie Oberg said she believed only one man was airlifted to Seattle.

The fire sent at least seven people to the hospital. A firefighter injured his leg while on the scene but was treated and released by Sunday, Oberg said.

Spokane Fire Department Battalion Chief and Incident Commander Michael Bacon said crews were called to the GoGo Heights apartments near Colton and Wedgewood about 3:45 p.m. on Saturday.

Bacon said he was about 3 miles away at the time and could see a column of black smoke forming.

“It was going good,” he said of the fire.

The blaze happened so suddenly that a mother helped two of her children leap from a third-floor window, Bacon said.

Linda Juitt said in a Facebook post that she is the mother who had to toss her kids to people on the ground waiting to catch them.

“By the grace of God my kids walked away with not even a single scratch!!,” Juitt wrote. “Thank you to the neighbors who caught my children.”

Juitt said she never heard any fire alarms go off and that the fire blocked her and her children from taking the stairs to exit the apartment complex.

While her children were uninjured in their three-story jump from the burning building, Juitt hurt her leg. In her Facebook post, Juitt said she was in the hospital due to the injury.

Randall Harris, Juitt’s friend, wrote in a Facebook fundraiser post that Juitt fractured a handful of bones after jumping from the third floor.

Juitt is asking for donations after losing her possessions in the fire. The Facebook fundraiser Harris started Sunday had raised $445 as of 5 p.m.

“Yes we lost everything, but all those things are replaceable,” Juitt said in her post. “I am so thankful to God for watching over us and keeping us safe.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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