At 5:44 AM on Saturday, May 20th, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) responded to a structure fire at the intersection of East Boone Avenue and North Smith Street in the East Central neighborhood. Firefighters arrived at the scene within 4 minutes of receiving the dispatch, only to encounter a heavily engulfed RV fire that spread to an adjacent detached garage. The incident was further complicated by evident hoarder conditions surrounding the RV and within the garage.
Firefighters initiated an aggressive fire attack strategy while simultaneously conducting a thorough search of the RV for potential fire victims. However, battling the fire proved highly challenging due to the hazardous hoarder conditions that impeded their progress.
Fortunately, upon investigation, it was revealed that three individuals had been residing inside the RV and had narrowly escaped the engulfing flames. One adult male sustained a minor injury while fleeing the fire and was promptly treated by SFD Paramedics before being transported by AMR to a nearby hospital for further care. Nevertheless, the fire significantly damaged a substantial portion of the garage. Due to the dangers of the remaining structure, the Fire Marshal determined the risk to the public was too great and allowed it to be demolished later this morning.
The presence of hoarder conditions significantly exacerbates the dangers faced by firefighters. Restricted mobility, limited escape routes, high fuel loads, and accelerated fire growth are just a few of the hazards encountered in such situations. No other injuries occurred as a result of this incident. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by a team of SPD and SFD officers.
The Spokane Fire Department urges residents to maintain a safe living environment, free from clutter and excess materials, to minimize fire risks and enhance overall safety. For more information on fire prevention and safety measures, please visit www.spokanefire.org or contact SFD Fire Prevention at 509-625-7000.