A three-alarm fire at the New West Apartment near Airway Heights damaged four units and displaced fifteen people just after four a.m. Monday.
Firefighters say early morning fires are where they see the most fatalities, so they were relieved to find everyone safely evacuated by the time they arrived.
Spokane Fire Chief Bobby Williams says this fire was especially dangerous because it started in a second story unit.
“When the first company got here they saw a lot of fire,” Williams said. “As they advanced the hose line up to the stairway the captain said the entire stairway was involved. He wasn't even sure the landing would support him if the railings had already burnt away.”
Kevin Conrad lives in a unit several doors down from where the fire started.
“I was woken around four-thirty, someone knocking on my door. I came out and you could see the flames, pretty intense flames coming out the side of the building,” he said.
Only one person was injured in the blaze, a woman living in the unit where the flames started who cut her hand while escaping.
Crews were able to extinguish the fire shortly after five a.m.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.