UPDATE: Estimated $13M Loss In Pullman Apartment Fire - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

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UPDATE: Estimated $13M Loss In Pullman Apartment Fire

Posted: Updated:
PULLMAN, Wash. -

The three-alarm fire in Pullman destroyed four apartment buildings and a club house that would have been worth about $13 million when completed this summer.
    
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/12tOOuB ) the fire early Sunday destroyed 88 units at the Grove complex, where many residents are Washington State University students. The fire also destroyed three pieces of construction equipment and damaged a dozen more.
    
Pullman Fire Chief Mike Heston says investigators are using an arson dog. An investigator from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also is involved.
    
Pullman mayor and fire department spokesman Glenn Johnson says officials do not believe the fire is related to four unsolved arsons in the spring of last year at Washington State University.

PREVIOUS STORY:

A massive three-alarm blaze woke up several Washington State University students early Sunday morning, when the fire was burning dangerously close to their own complex.

"We were looking at the flames, and we thought it was going to spread," WSU senior Ashley Weyerts told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.

Weyerts and her roommate, WSU sophomore Jessica Johnson, initially heard yelling just after 3:00 a.m. Sunday, then heard someone yell ‘fire.'

"I went to my bedroom window and looked out, and I was expecting just some smoke or a little fire, and instead, saw this huge wall of flames," Weyerts added.

While Johnson called 911, the two helped knock on doors to evacuate fellow residents, then packed their belongings into their cars to get away from the fast-moving fire.

"The scariest part was when we heard the explosions, and that's probably when we really thought for about 5 minutes there, it's really going to spread," Weyerts said.

The explosions came from the propane tanks on the construction site and the gas tanks of the equipment left on scene. The fire burned so hot and fast, it even melted the siding on a building in their complex down to the wood.

"I just don't understand why someone would want to do so much damage, I mean this is affecting hundreds of peoples lives," Johnson told KHQ.

Amazingly, nobody was hurt.

Fire investigators are calling the blaze suspicious, and an active investigation is underway.

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