PULLMAN, Wash. - Fire charred The Grove apartment project early Sunday morning.
Firefighters responded to flames at the construction site on Northeast Terre View Drive around 3 a.m. Crews were able to save four buildings, but the fire destroyed four others. No one was injured.
First responders said the fire started in the middle of the complex and spread to three other units under construction.
Those on the scene heard at least three explosions as the fire reached the gas, diesel, or propane tanks on the construction equipment.
The fire was so hot, authorties said it cracked windows at a research park about 200 yards away and melted a street sign across the street.
Fire crews were able to get the fire under control about two hours after the flames broke out. Firefighters remained on the scene for several hours cleaning up and carrying out an investigation.
Two nearby apartment complexes, Boulder Creek and Steptoe, suffered heat damage to the siding, but all units are still usable. Several cars were also damaged by the heat.
There was also fear that the fire would spread to a wheat field about 400 yards away. Firefighters say the weather helped them keep the blaze contained.
Investigators said it was too early to know what started the fire but police are calling it suspicious.
The Grove apartments were set to open in August to offer housing to hundreds of WSU students.
The Pullman FireDepartment, Pullman Police Department and WSU police are still investigating the cause of the fire.