Arson Investigation Underway In $13 Million Pullman Apartment Fi - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Arson Investigation Underway In $13 Million Pullman Apartment Fire

Posted: Updated:
PULLMAN, Wash. -

After four vacant apartment buildings went up in flames in an early morning three-alarm blaze Sunday, six investigators from Pullman Fire, Pullman Police and Washington State University Police are sorting through the charred rubble.

Pullman Fire Chief Mike Heston confirmed to KHQ's Kelsey Watts an arson dog is being brought in to the Grove Apartments off Terre View Drive to aid in the investigation Tuesday to search for accelerants or other evidence that the fire may have been set on purpose.

"It's suspicious because it was so huge when we got here, and we're on a site where we don't have a lot of sources for ignition, so we're trying to rule those out," Heston added. "Until we rule it out, we're going to call it suspicious."

He said their first job is to rule out other potential causes; there were extension cords inside the buildings, and fire investigators will be looking at whether they had power as well as if other fuel sources were on the site.

So far, Heston believes the fire is not related to the string of four unsolved arson fires that were set near the WSU campus last summer, however that may change as new evidence in the investigation comes to light.

"We're taking this very seriously, as we took the other ones as well, but people's lives were at stake here on this one," Heston said.

The fire burned so fast and hot, Heston said the flames were 100 feet high when crews arrived on scene. Two neighboring apartment complexes were evacuated, as the intense heat melted the siding on the buildings. Heston said had the fire burned uncontrolled for another few minutes, one of those separate complexes full of students would have likely caught fire,

Right now, damages to the Grove Apartments are estimated at $13 million dollars.

Terry Boston, the Assistant Vice President for Administrative Services at WSU said the university will have a better idea in the next 24-48 hours of the impact on students as Campus Crest gets more information.

Boston said Campus Crest still plans to have 96 beds available by August 17th, two days before the beginning of the fall semester. WSU may be able to house another 100-200 students in its residence halls.

Campus Crest is in the process of contacting students who had signed leases for the now burned apartment buildings to make arrangements.

  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Boil-water advisories issued in several eastern Washington areas after storms

    Boil-water advisories issued in several eastern Washington areas after storms

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:12 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:12:58 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Health believes some local water systems are at risk after severe storms moved through the area on Wednesday and they have issued some boil-water advisories. More >>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Health believes some local water systems are at risk after severe storms moved through the area on Wednesday and they have issued some boil-water advisories. In Spokane and Pend Oreille counties, several water systems are under boil-water advisories:·More >>
  • The right decision? Ted Nugent concert canceled

    The right decision? Ted Nugent concert canceled

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:57 PM EDT2014-07-25 01:57:53 GMT
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - "The Coeur d'Alene Tribe has a long history of working on social rights issues in the area," says Coeur d'Alene Tribe Public Relations Director, Heather Keen. More >>
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - "The Coeur d'Alene Tribe has a long history of working on social rights issues in the area," says Coeur d'Alene Tribe Public Relations Director, Heather Keen. On Monday the tribe, along with Coeur d'Alene Casino management made the decision to cancel the Ted Nugent concert set to kick off at the casino this August, saying the rock star is known to make racially biased comments.More >>
  • PHOTOS: Severe storm causes power outages, damage to homes

    PHOTOS: Severe storm causes power outages, damage to homes

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-07-25 00:56:19 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A storm seemed to leave just as fast as it arrived Wednesday in Spokane. High winds blew over trees and utility lines, causing widespread power outages and some severe property damage. INSIDE>>>| Power Outages | PHOTOS |More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A storm seemed to leave just as fast as it arrived Wednesday in Spokane. High winds blew over trees and utility lines, causing widespread power outages and some severe property damage. INSIDE>>>| Power Outages | PHOTOS |More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.