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

Apartment fire in north Spokane caused by cigarette lighter, fire officials say

UPDATED: Tue., June 22, 2021

A fire gutted a north Spokane apartment building Saturday afternoon, sending at least seven people to the hospital.  (Alayna Shulman/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
A fire gutted a north Spokane apartment building Saturday afternoon, sending at least seven people to the hospital. (Alayna Shulman/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Sydney Brown The Spokesman-Review

An unattended cigarette lighter caused an apartment fire that left seven injured and took nearly half of the city’s fire resources to extinguish, according to the Spokane Fire Department.

The fire in the North Spokane GoGo Heights apartment complex on Saturday is believed to be accidental, according to a release from the fire department.

The fire spread quickly after a lighter caught the bedding on fire. One person was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle because of severe injuries, and one firefighter was hospitalized with minor injuries.

The fire reported around 3:45 p.m. sent people jumping out of windows to escape, fire officials have said.

Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said this fire shows the dangers of what promises to be a long, hot summer. Most fires are caused by human error, he said, and multifamily dwellings such as this present a greater danger.

People should make a plan in case they need to evacuate pets and family, Schaeffer said. They should also watch for signs of heat stroke and consider installing an air cooling system inside their home.

“Everything else is lined up against us,” he said. “If we can remove the human error factor out of the equation, it puts us in a better situation.”

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