Tuesday, April 13, 2021
April 13, 2021

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Fire official: Blaze at Murdock building in downtown Vancouver was arson

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A Feb. 20 fire that started in an elevator car at the Murdock Building in downtown Vancouver was intentionally set, according to the city Fire Marshal’s Office.

Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said Friday that the blaze was determined to be arson and remains under investigation by the joint fire investigation team.

Several callers had reported seeing light smoke coming from the front of the seven-story building, 703 Broadway, which houses Columbia Credit Union and offices, and serves as a parking garage.

The calls prompted a large response, with multiple fire crews dispatched shortly after 8 p.m. for a commercial structure fire.

The building’s sprinkler system had activated and contained the blaze until firefighters arrived, Scarpelli said.

Firefighters found fire in the elevator shaft near the first floor. A search of the building found the blaze had not extended to the other floors, according to emergency radio traffic monitored by The Columbian.

No one was injured.

Scarpelli said the estimated property and contents loss is $564,287.


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