Spokane Co. officials investigating suspected arson fires

Spokane Co. officials investigating suspected arson fires

Three brush fires and one house fire over the weekend are believed to be the latest in the string of suspected arson fires in the southeastern part of Spokane County, bringing the total now to 23.

“We’ve had a total now of 21 grass and brush fires and also what we think are two additional unoccupied residential house fires,” Chief Greg Godfrey with Spokane County Fire District 8 said.

Firefighters from Spokane County and Spokane Valley were called to the 17000 block of Apollo Road just after 7 a.m. on Sunday for a fire at an unoccupied house.

“We believe that they entered through the basement door, the sliding glass door was a walk out basement, similar to a fire we had just over a week ago in the same neighborhood,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey is referring to a house on Daybreak Road that had a fire on September 13. That incident pushes the original time line when the suspected fires are believed to have started back. It was initially thought that the 8-acre fire that threatened almost a dozen homes on South Saltese Lake Road on September 18th was the first.

“It’s getting scary, for the public and for us as well,” Godfrey said.

Fire officials said that the three brush fires over the weekend are very similar to the others that they’ve seen. They believe that it’s one person who is using a vehicle to get the job done fast.

“They hiked down a trail about 200 to 300 feet and lit the fire and then came back to their vehicle and left,” Godfrey said.

A task force compromised of state and local representatives was formed on Thursday to help with this case. Firefighters are relying heavily on the public to be the eyes and ears to put whoever in responsible behind bars.

“Probably the best way to solve this is to get the public’s help and tips that come in,” Godfrey said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.