FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Lt. Mark Johnson, Incident Commander, B St
Friday, May 29, 2015 Asst. Chief Ryan Scharnhorst, IC, Main St
TWO PULLMAN STRUCTURE FIRES WITHIN 20 MINUTES
PULLMAN-Two small structure fires within 20 minutes of each other at an apartment and a motel kept firefighters from Pullman and Whitman County Rural District 12 busy Friday morning.
The first fire was reported at 10:35 am at 920 NE B St. when neighbors reported seeing smoke coming from apartment 12. Lt. Mark Johnson, the incident commander on the fire, said when the crews arrived there was a lot of smoke coming from the apartment. He said it was prudent at that time to call for additional personnel because all indications were that they had a working fire.
When firefighters entered the apartment, they found the smoke pouring from the oven but found no fire. Johnson said the resident appeared to be getting ready to move and started the self-cleaning oven feature and then left the residence. Firefighters said there was a wooden dining room table lying against the back of the stove, near the exhaust, that was smoking as well.
The fire was confined to the stove and table and Johnson estimated the damage at around $2,500.
As it turned out, the second alarm helped local firefighters when the next call came in at 10:54 am. A crew from Whitman County Rural District 12 had just returned to the station when a call came in of a working fire at Nendel's Motor Inn, 915 E. Main.
Assistant Chief Ryan Scharnhorst said there was smoke coming from the laundry room and when firefighters made entry, they could see fire in a commercial dryer. The fire was quickly extinguished but the dryer was destroyed.
Two residents who occupied a room next to the laundry said they could smell smoke and at first they thought it was coming from the construction site across the street at Washington State University. They left their room and opened the door to the laundry and saw flames and called 9-1-1. The estimate of damage to the commercial dryer and the room was around $4,000.
Scharnhorst reminded residents that if they use the self-cleaning feature on an oven, it is a good idea to remain on the premises.