Fire destroys part of Cheney apartment complex

CHENEY, Wash. - Firefighters spent Saturday afternoon and early evening battling a fire in Cheney that destroyed a fourplex at an apartment complex.

The first call for the fire at the 100 Washington Square apartments came in at 1:46 p.m. District 3 was the first on scene arriving in nearly five minutes.

Over the next two hours, Cheney Fire, Spokane Fire, and crews from Eastern Washington University responded.

Investigators are currently analyzing burn patterns to help recreate the scene and determine what caused the fire. What is known is that is started on the first floor of the building and spread to the second. 

City administrator Mark Schuller said when crews first responded they heard explosions which they believe to have been oxygen tanks.

"At this point, we've had a couple people transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation," Schuller said. "They're not critical which is another good thing. The quick actions of the fire department and the police department probably saved quite a few lives and structural damage."

In addition to the residents sent to the hospital, two firefighters were sent for heat exhaustion, as well. 

As of Saturday evening, it is believed four units have been displaced and the Red Cross was on scene at around 3:30 p.m. to provide emergency assistance.

A rest station was also set up across the from the complex for firefighters to rest during rotations and get water in the extreme heat. 

Spokane Fire investigators have been brought in to look in to the fire because Cheney has several of their investigators responding to wildfires in the area. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.