FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Lt. Rudy Fisher, Incident Commander
Sunday, January 12, 2014 Chief Mike Heston
PULLMAN WOMAN SPOTS SMOKE AND PREVENTS A MAJOR FIRE AT HOTEL UNDER CONSTRUCTION
PULLMAN-Pullman fire officials are crediting a woman who was walking her dog Sunday afternoon and spotted smoke coming the third floor stairwell of the new Marriott Residence Inn with preventing serious damage to the hotel that is under construction.
The woman, Amy Winsor, observed the smoke and called 9-1-1 just before 2 p.m. Flames at the hotel, at 1255 NE Fairway Rd, were seen by the first Washington State University police officer who arrived right after the call.
Pullman firefighters had to force entry into the building and but were able to quickly extinguish the fire. The blaze was confined to some wood surrounding the temporary exhaust pipe connected to a natural gas heater placed by the construction crew in the stairwell. Fisher said the exhaust pipe was not properly vented to the outside. He said it was possible that the pipe had vibrated loose but as a consequence, the heated exhaust went direct to the studs, almost like a blowtorch, and that started the fire.
There were two other temporary heaters in the building near the stairwell but the fire was only on the third floor of the 131-room hotel scheduled to open in June, according to the hotel's website.
Fire officials are estimating damage around $2,000.