Fire burns overnight at abandoned warehouse on Regal

<p><p>An abandoned warehouse that caught fire late Sunday evening burned through the night, according to the Spokane Fire Department.</p></p><p><p>Flames leapt off the roof of the building in the morning sun 8 a.m. Monday.</p></p><p><p>Firefighters responded to reports of a fire at the former S&amp;P Meats warehouse at 801 North Regal Street at about 8:30 p.m.</p></p><p><p>Crews located a fire at the back of the building that was quickly contained, said Lt. AJ Miller. </p></p><p><p>After a walkthrough of the building to make sure no one was inside, portions of the roof started to collapse, making it unsafe for crews inside, Miller said. </p></p><p><p>They knocked down the fire from the outside then sent firefighters in again to the safer parts of the building to check for active fire but they didn’t find any, Miller said. Crews were stationed on firewatch throughout the night incase the fire became active again, he said. </p></p><p><p>“Nothing was to be seen at that time,.” Miller said of the situation at about 10:30 p.m.</p></p><p><p>The fire flared up at about 2 a.m. Monday morning. It burned across the roof of the warehouse causing more cave ins, Miller said.</p></p><p><p>“There’s no way we’re going to get in there and put it completely out because the building is unsafe for us at this point,” Miller said. “We’re just trying to keep it from causing any other hazards and safety issues in the little neighborhood here.”</p></p><p><p>Battalion Chief Jim Schaffer said the warehouse had a metal “rain roof” on top of the old roof. The metal of the rain roof was melted by the flames forming little domes that contained the heat of the fire, Schaffer said. </p></p><p><p>At its peak the fire sent billows of smoke over a nearby warehouse causing an estimated $100,000 in damage to water containers sitting outside, Schaffer said. </p></p><p><p>While the fire is under the watchful eye of fire crews, they can’t completely extinguish the flames due to the dangers inside the warehouse, Schaffer said.</p></p><p><p>Residents of Hillyard north of the fire can expect a smoky morning, Schaffer said. The air quality index reading at the nearby Augusta and Fisk monitoring site reflected the surge of smoke with a reading of 123 at 9 a.m. which is designated as unhealthy for sensitive groups. The site also had a brief monitoring outage which affected the readings.</p></p><p><p>Wind blew the smoke directly toward the monitor, said Lisa Woodard with the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency. As winds dissipate the smoke and the fire is put down the levels will drop, she said. </p></p><p><p>The Airway Heights monitoring site showed a 9 a.m. AQI of 12 and the Monroe and Wellesley site showed a reading of 14.</p></p><p><p>The cause of the fire is under investigation. Crews will be stationed at the warehouse for most of the day Monday. </p></p>