Spokane Valley Fire Department units responded Sunday to a large fire on Sprague, and a firefighter was hospitalized for a short time.
At 6:33 p.m., SVFD responded to a fire at a commercial structure at Rodda Paint, 6818 E Sprague Ave. It was the department’s second working structure fire of the day, said Scott Niebuhr, spokesman.
A passerby on Appleway Boulevard noticed significant smoke coming from the southwest corner of the building, pulled his vehicle over and flagged another driver to call 9-1-1.
Rodda Paint’s owner stated that the business is closed on Sundays and no employees were reported to have been inside the building.
Firefighters on Engine 6 arrived first on scene to a large commercial building with heavy fire and smoke conditions. Combined with firefighters from Engine 1, Engine 2, Spokane Engine 14 and other arriving apparatus, hose lines were pulled in an attempt to enter the building.
Heavy fire conditions instead forced firefighters into a “defensive” strategy to apply water from the outside of the building.
Using “master stream” devices from three ladder trucks and several larger hand lines, firefighters applied water from the outside of the building for approximately two hours until the fire was under control. Firefighters then entered structurally safe portions of the building to finish extinguishing the fire.
Throughout the incident firefighters also dealt with freezing temperatures and toxic smoke from large amounts of burning paint. Firefighters working directly in the smoke wore SCBA air packs to avoid inhalation. There were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters.
The fire cause is under investigation with very extensive damage to the entire building. In total 14 fire department vehicles including command vehicles responded with approximately 35 firefighters. SVFD was assisted by multiple fire engines and ladder trucks from the Spokane Fire Department and a support unit from Spokane County Fire District 8 through automatic aid agreements, along with traffic control from the Spokane Valley Police Department and a standby ambulance.
One firefighter was treated at an area hospital and released later that night for a non-life-threatening injury..