A fire destroyed an eight-unit abandoned apartment building and temporarily shut down U.S. Highway 2 on Tuesday night in Airway Heights.
Firefighters were called at 8:35 p.m. to the single-story structure fire on U.S. 2 near South Campbell Street, said Don Malone, deputy chief at Spokane County Fire District 10.
“It was already venting through the roof when the first arriving units got here,” Malone said at the scene.
He said the roof was caving in when crews arrived two minutes after the call went out. Malone said firefighters knocked down the blaze in about 45 minutes.
The main objective, which crews accomplished, was to protect the adjacent building that houses Domino’s Pizza, Ghost Quarter Games and possibly other businesses, he said.
The highway was shut down in both directions until about 10:40 p.m. Smoke was still emanating from the building at that time.
Malone said the abandoned building was a total loss and there were no injuries.
Airway Heights Fire Marshal Nick Henry said Wednesday the cause of the blaze is still under investigation and that there was so much damage it may be difficult to determine.
Henry said crews finished mopping up the fire Wednesday afternoon.
Malone said the Airway Heights Fire Department and Spokane County fire districts 3 and 10 responded to the blaze.
The building had been abandoned for a few months but “squatters” come and go, Malone said.
The structure, located at 12628 W. Sunset Hwy., is owned by SRE Investments, LLC of Bothell, Washington, according to Spokane County records.
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