Apr. 12—At least two residents of a 32-unit Spokane apartment complex were displaced Sunday by a fire caused by a candle placed "too close to combustibles," according to the Spokane Fire Department.
The fire was reported around 6:15 p.m. at the West 315 Apartments on Mission Avenue and Washington Street. The caller reported smoke from a second-floor apartment window and a fire alarm going off, according to the fire department.
Firefighters arrived within five minutes to a blaze on the second floor of the three-story apartment building.
The building, according to the fire department, is equipped with a fire and life safety system that includes a commercial fire sprinkler system, which did help keep the fire's growth under control until personnel arrived.
More than 30 firefighters were needed to search the burning apartment, evacuate nearby units and survey the damage, firefighters said. Nobody was injured, while firefighters rescued three cats.
Those affected have accepted assistance from the Greater Inland Northwest Chapter of the Red Cross. Firefighters said Monday afternoon that up to six more disabled residents could be temporarily relocated.
Investigators determined the cause of the fire was accidental.
"The SFD reminds our community that when using lit candles, to place them in sturdy, safe candle holders that will not burn or tip over," department officials said in a statement. "Although we prefer battery-operated flameless candles, if candles are used, please keep them at least 12 inches from materials that can burn and never leave a candle unattended."