4 apartment buildings destroyed in Pullman fire

Four apartment buildings under construction were destroyed by a large fire early Sunday in Pullman and the blaze is considered suspicious.

No injuries were reported at the Grove apartment complex, The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported.

Pullman Fire Department Chief Mike Heston said the cause of the fire is under investigation because there was no heat source in the apartments, which were still under construction, that could have set it off.

Firefighters responded to calls about a fire around 3:15 a.m. Sunday. The fire burned for another two hours, with several explosions caused by diesel fuel and gasoline in on-site construction vehicles. Heston said the flames reached as high as 100 feet.

Fire crews from nearby jurisdictions were called in to assist.

Heston said the Pullman Police Department and the Washington State University Police Department evacuated the neighboring Boulder Creek apartment complex and WSU’s Steptoe Village complex. The heat from the fire melted the vinyl siding on several buildings in both complexes.

The fire destroyed about half of the newly constructed Grove apartments and will affect many WSU students who had signed leases to live there. Construction on the Grove was scheduled to be completed in early August.