SPOKANE, December 29, 2008 9:40 a.m. -- Two crews of firefighters are watching for flare-ups throughout the night at the offices for Upper Columbia Conference of Seventh-day Adventists that caught fire early Sunday morning.
Members of eight fire stations fought the flames throughout the day Sunday. In spite of their efforts, over two-thirds of the building has burned to the ground. The remaining wing, has suffered significant smoke and water damage. No one was in the building at the time the fire started and the cause is under investigation.
Firefighters say the fire started in the Adventist Book Center, a Christian bookstore, and spread to the rest of the building. Herman Schreven, the bookstore manager learned of the fire when his wife, a lieutenant with Fire District 3, was dispatched to the scene.
Upper Columbia Conference is the headquarters for the 25,000 Seventh-day Adventists in the Inland Northwest and provides leadership for 30 schools and 117 churches throughout Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, and North-eastern Oregon.
The building also houses the studio for Spokane’s Positive Life Radio, 104.9 FM, and He's Alive TV, UHF Ch. 39, which are both currently off the air due to the fire. Staffers are currently determining the extent of the damage and seeking to get the stations back on the air as soon as possible.