Family-owned business catches fire in East Central

(11-29-17)

SPOKANE, Wash. – Crews spent Wednesday afternoon battling a fire that broke out at a glass store on Riverside and Helena around noon.

The owner of Tormino's said the business is something that has been in the family for decades. 

John Tormino said his dad founded the store and worked there until he was 90-years-old. 

"Four days before he died he was down here for probably five or six hours," he said. 

Tormino started working with his dad when he turned 18. The two worked together until he passed away just six months ago. He said it was emotional to watch the flames take away a place he has dedicated the last 44 years to.

"I don't honestly know, it's what I've always done, it's what I hope to do, it's just surprising," he said.

Tormino does not know how the fire started but said he heard an explosion then saw flames. He said he is thankful this did not happen while his dad was still alive.  

"I'm glad he's not here to see it because it'd make him sick," he explained. 

Everyone got out safely. The store is actually closed for the winter, so only Tormino and another employee were inside. 

The process to put out the fire was not an easy one. Crews have been battled smoke and flames for several hours. They even had to knock down a wall on the side of the building. They said they will have crews on scene  through the night checking for hot spots. 

While KREM 2 was on scene, a man who worked across the street said he went into the building to make sure no one was inside and pulled propane tanks out of the building. He had also said that he rescued a dog but later told KREM 2 that when he went inside the building a dog had followed him in and later followed him out. 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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