LEWISTON – At 4:12 pm fire units were dispatched to an apartment fire at 429 1st Ave, unit 308 with heavy black smoke coming from the back porch area of the apartment. 4 minutes after being dispatched the first fire unit arrived to find a working structure fire in an apartment on the 3rd floor of the building.
Police and fire units were able to evacuate the apartment building and there were no civilian or firefighter injuries reported.
Firefighters quickly attacked the fire with multiple fire hoses and were able to keep the fire to the apartment of origin. Crews were able to bring the fire under control in
about 30 minutes and crews remained on the scene for an additional hour and a half checking for hot spots. The fire was confined to apartment 308, but there was smoke and water damage to neighboring apartments.
The initial fire response included 22 fire personnel, with 1 ladder truck, 3 fire engines, 2 ambulances, 1 special response vehicle, and 1 command chief. The initial response included units from Clarkston and Clearwater Paper Fire Departments as part of the valley-wide auto aid response.
Due to the complexity of the fire 3 additional chief officers and a fire inspector responded to the scene. Off-duty firefighters were also called back to stations and responded to additional emergencies.
Lewiston Police and Avista Utilities responded and provided assistance. Fire investigators conducted an investigation of the fire and at the time of this press release are believing the cause of the fire to be from spontaneous combustion of oily rags on the porch of the apartment.
Initial estimated damage to the structure and contents is $300,000. The last fire unit cleared from the fire at 7:00 pm.