Church goes up in flames near downtown Spokane

Church near downtown goes up in flames

SPOKANE, Wash. - A vacant church on Adams and Broadway caught fire just after 8:30 Friday evening.

The Spokane Fire Department responded to Adams and Broadway on the report of a brush fire. When crews arrived, the former Broadway Baptist Church was involved and had significant fire burning through the roof of the building.

Firefighters upgraded the fire to a second alarm so additional resources could help battle the blaze, including assistance from Spokane Fire District 9 and the Spokane Valley Fire Department. 

60 firefighters fought the fire, primarily dumping water from extended ladders above the fire. They were unable to enter the building and treated the situation as if the building could collapse at any time.

Crews defensively battled the fire so it could be contained to just the church and not spread to other structures. Located across the street from teh church are several apartment buildings that were a concern for firefighters.

Fire officials on scene said the church was built in 1905.

"It is extremely unfortunate that our city has lost a building of such historic significance," said Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer. "Firefighter did an exceptional job of suppressing the fire and keeping it from spreading to the surrounding neighborhood and nearby construction sites. We are very thankful nobody was injured."

Crews will likely remain on scene throughout Friday night and into Saturday morning. They hope to be able to enter the building on Saturday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.