All residents, cat safe in downtown Spokane apartment fire

Upwards of 70 firefighters were needed to control and put out an early morning apartment fire at a complex one block east of Lewis and Clark High School.

“I heard the noises, but as I got closer and closer, I realized it was my apartment building,” said resident and nurse Julie Medley. “I had just gotten off work at 7 a.m. and as I pulled around you could see flames coming out of the buildings.”

RELATED: Firefighter injured battling downtown Spokane apartment fire

According to the Spokane Fire Department, candles sparked the fire in a first floor apartment, where the majority of the fire damage was. A second floor unit was also damaged as firefighters tried to access the fire. Smoke damage is likely extensive.

One firefighter was injured, but all residents escaped safely.

In total, the Red Cross reported the fire displaced 25 occupants of the building. Many of those people were given temporary shelter at the neighboring church, the Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ.

“I’m just thankful we all got out okay,” said resident Holly Hill. “I’m a little shaken up obviously, because this was my building.”

Both Medley and Hill credit the Spokane Fire Department for a job well done and getting on scene quickly.

“The firefighters were all around doing their things, just getting everything taken care of,” said Medley. “I was very impressed.”

Firefighters even went the extra mile; during a sweep to make sure no humans were inside, firefighter picked up a lucky feline.

“I was ecstatic, I couldn’t believe they had gone in and found [Milk] and they brought her to me in a laundry basket,” said Medley.

Medley said the seven year old calico was stressed and smelled strongly of smoke, but was alive.

Neighbors supported neighbors throughout the process as the Red Cross worked to provide the necessary supplies to allow displaced residents to get back on their feet.

Residents were told it could be between one and three days before they will be allowed back into the building, but they were doing their best to stay positive.

“Everything is material, things can be replaced, lives can’t,” said Hill.

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