70 first responders work to evacuate residents at N. Spokane retirement home

SPOKANE, Wash. - A fire was reported around 3:50 a.m. Monday morning at the Lilac Plaza Retirement Community in North Spokane. 

The fire was discovered in the elevator head house. Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said the fire started in an air conditioning unit in an elevator on the top floor, and was quickly contained.

Spokane Fire crews then began working to evacuate residents living on the floors surrounding the where the fire was. Chief Schaeffer described the residents as 'some of the most at risk in community,' due to age and health issues. 

In some cases, firefighters had to carry residents down 14 flights of stairs to get them to safety. 

One resident was transported to a local hospital for evaluation for smoke inhalation and was then released. There were no reported injuries to firefighters.

SFD's Special Investigation Unit determined the cause of the fire to be electrical issues within heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment located in the elevator head house. 

SFD units remained on scene until 9 a.m.

The incident required more than 70 firefighters, fire command staff and AMR ambulance personnel.

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