Crews contain downtown Spokane fire, no injuries reported

SPOKANE, Wash – Smoke has cleared from a three-alarm fire Thursday morning in downtown Spokane.

Investigators say the fire started in the basement of an old warehouse, built in 1917, that sits between Monroe and Lincoln, south of the railroad tracks.

The area was closed for hours as firefighters worked to get the fire under control.

More than 70 firefighters responded as heavy smoke spread throughout downtown.

“We had flames that were showing through the roof. We forced access, the fire was encroaching to a building that was adjacent to the west. We were able to stop it there,” Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said. “The building that was on fire was full of consumable or combustible material, heavy construction, very challenging for firefighters to put themselves into that environment and fight, they did that exceptionally.”

Joshiah Roloff, with Roloff Digital Forensics, works on the sixth floor of the nearby Freeman Center. He went to work early when friends messaged him about the fire.

“Their thoughts were ‘hopefully it’s not your building that’s on fire’ and that was our thought as well,” Roloff said.

He says knowing how old the buildings are in the area, he is not surprised the fire happened.

“I’m alarmed that it was this close, but I’m not shocked that this could happen. I’m just really thankful that the outcome is what it is, at least for our building and most of our neighbors,” Roloff said.

The structure that caught fire was a small building owned by Overhauser’s Manufacturers. The owners did not want to speak on camera, but said they will reopen for business when the “situation is under control.”