UPDATE: Apartment Complex Burns In Pullman - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share

UPDATE: Apartment Complex Burns In Pullman; Fire Chief Calls It 'Suspicious'

Posted: Updated:
PHOTO: KHQ Viewer Jessica Johnson PHOTO: KHQ Viewer Jessica Johnson
PHOTO Courtesy Of Chris Antes PHOTO Courtesy Of Chris Antes
PULLMAN, Wash. -

Pullman Fire Department Press Release:

A raging three alarm fire, that Pullman fire chief Mike Heston is calling "suspicious," ripped through four apartment buildings under construction in the north area of Pullman early Sunday morning.

Flames could be seen throughout the Pullman area as the fire spread from one building under construction to the next in a complex called The Grove, at 1560 NE Brandi Way, just off Terre View Drive. Firefighters managed to protect another four units under construction from any major fire damage. Two nearby apartment complexes, that were occupied—Boulder Creek and Steptoe—sustained heat damage to the vinyl siding but all the units could be used.

Fire chief Mike Heston called the fire "suspicious" and immediately assigned several investigators from Pullman Fire, Pullman Police and WSU Police to begin the investigation.

The first call to Whitcom, the 9-1-1 center, came in by phone at 3:16 a.m. As fire units left the north area station, they could see the flames and immediately called for a second alarm and third alarms for additional help. Pullman firefighters were aided by Whitman Rural District 12, Moscow Rural and City fire departments and the Colfax fire department.

As firefighters first approached the fire scene, just off Terre View Drive, they set up equipment in defensive mode to protect occupied apartment buildings to the east and south of the structure. They also managed to save four additional apartment buildings under construction in The Grove from any major fire damage.

Firefighters had the fire under control about two hours later (5:20 am) but will have firefighters on the scene for several hours mopping up and aiding with the fire investigation.

The apartment complex is under construction by a North Carolina firm. They told firefighters that all of the units had been rented for the fall semester at Washington State University that begins August 19th.

Heston said firefighters were told at least two fire hydrants on the property supposedly were operational but when firefighters tried to use them, there was no water available. Firefighters laid hose line from hydrants on Terre View and nearby complexes to help extinguish the fire.

The first firefighters on the scene said the fire apparently started in the middle of the complex and spread to three other units that were in various stages of construction. The fire was so hot at its height that it cracked a couple of windows at a nearby research park, roughly 200 yards away, and melted a street sign across the street.

When the fire broke out, both WSU and Pullman police officers went to nearby apartment complexes that were occupied—Boulder Creek and Steptoe—and helped with evacuations. There were no immediate reports of any injuries.

Firefighters were aided by the weather in the early Sunday morning hours. There was very little wind when the fire was at its height which helped firefighters keep blaze contained. In addition to nearby occupied apartment complexes, about 400 yards away was a standing wheat field. Whitman Rural District 12 had one of its trucks in position in case a spark would drift northward towards the wheat field.

Construction crews told firefighters that August 17 was the move in date for the new Grove apartment complex. In addition to the apartment units under construction several pieces of equipment, including a front loader, bulldozers, and a backhoe, were damaged by the heat and fire. Several vehicles parked near the rear of the main complex were also damaged by the heat. Those on the scene could hear at least three explosions as the fire reached the gas, diesel or propane tanks on the construction equipment.

At this time there is no dollar figure on the amount of damage to the complex as construction crews were working their way through the units attempting to get an estimate of the damage.

Previous Coverage:

An apartment complex set to open next month and house hundreds of WSU students was destroyed by a fire early Sunday morning.

The Grove apartment complex caught fire at about 3:00am and quickly became fully engulfed in flames. Early reports are that four buildings were destroyed, while four were saved. Right now the fire is under control, but crews are still on scene keeping an eye on it and putting out hot spots.

No injuries have been reported. The cause is under investigation.

As soon as we get more information we will update this story.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • KHQ Investigates how welfare fraud cases are handled

    KHQ Investigates how welfare fraud cases are handled

    Friday, May 25 2018 9:45 PM EDT2018-05-26 01:45:28 GMT

    Spokane, Wash. On Friday afternoon we went back to Rachael Dolezal's house for one purpose, and that was to give her another chance to tell her side of the story  But still on Friday afternoon, No answers from her. Instead, KHQ spoke with Washington's senior director of fraud and accountability Steve Lowe whose job is to uncover welfare fraud and figure out the motives behind it. He told the state likely got lucky in this case. What led investigators knocking on Dolezal's door...

    More >>

    Spokane, Wash. On Friday afternoon we went back to Rachael Dolezal's house for one purpose, and that was to give her another chance to tell her side of the story  But still on Friday afternoon, No answers from her. Instead, KHQ spoke with Washington's senior director of fraud and accountability Steve Lowe whose job is to uncover welfare fraud and figure out the motives behind it. He told the state likely got lucky in this case. What led investigators knocking on Dolezal's door...

    More >>
  • Local waterways still very dangerous for Memorial Day weekend

    Local waterways still very dangerous for Memorial Day weekend

    Friday, May 25 2018 9:26 PM EDT2018-05-26 01:26:17 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash.- Whether it's the temperature, or the speed,  some of the waterways in the area are too dangerous to go into this Memorial Day weekend. Even though it feels warm outside, the river water is still actually very cold. If you were to completely submerge your body in it, it wouldn't take long to get hypothermia. 

    More >>

    SPOKANE, Wash.- Whether it's the temperature, or the speed,  some of the waterways in the area are too dangerous to go into this Memorial Day weekend. Even though it feels warm outside, the river water is still actually very cold. If you were to completely submerge your body in it, it wouldn't take long to get hypothermia. 

    More >>
  • The Latest: So far, lava has destroyed 82 Hawaii structures

    The Latest: So far, lava has destroyed 82 Hawaii structures

    Friday, May 25 2018 9:16 PM EDT2018-05-26 01:16:54 GMT

    HONOLULU (AP) - The Latest on the eruption of Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island (all times local): 3 p.m. Hawaii County officials say the number of structures lava has destroyed on the Big Island is now 82.    County Managing Director Wil Okabe told The Associated Press Friday that the number includes about 37 homes. He says officials used property records to determine which structures are homes because it can be difficult to tell from aerial surv...

    More >>

    HONOLULU (AP) - The Latest on the eruption of Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island (all times local): 3 p.m. Hawaii County officials say the number of structures lava has destroyed on the Big Island is now 82.    County Managing Director Wil Okabe told The Associated Press Friday that the number includes about 37 homes. He says officials used property records to determine which structures are homes because it can be difficult to tell from aerial surv...

    More >>