Tour Commander, 509.625.7100
Friday, April 3, 2020 at 8:05 p.m.
At approximately 2 AM on April 3, 2020, Spokane Fire Department (SFD) companies, and an automatic aid Valley Fire Department engine, responded to the 2500 block of East Riverside to a report of a 53' semi trailer on fire. Initial calls indicated that the fire was extending into a nearby commercial storage building. The first SFD fire company on scene arrived 3 minutes after the original dispatch and found the large semi-trailer fully engulfed in flames, and the fire had already extended inside the 40 foot x 100 foot storage building. An interior fire attack coupled with an aggressive search for possible victims ensued.
Quick action by the first arriving companies saved most of the structure from damage. The fire was contained and extinguished with 30-minutes. The building suffered damage to an exterior wall and roof, and some fire and smoke damage inside. The semi-trailer was a total loss. Property and valuable assets that were saved from damage are estimated at over $150,000.
The photos below illustrate the challenge we often face when responding to fires where our unhoused population may try and seek shelter. This fire was accidentally started by several people living beneath this trailer, seeking refuge from the cold weather and trying to stay warm. We often have to search areas for survivors during all types of occupancies due to this stark reality. Fortunately, in this case, the occupants living below the trailer were able to escape safely and we connected them to resources in the community for appropriate shelter.