SPOKANE – Dozens of nuns in northeast Spokane evacuated Monday afternoon as a brush fire came dangerously close to their convent.
The wildfire burned in an area of heavy trees between Spokane Falls Community College and the Spokane River. Flames traveled northeast along the river.
Both Fort Worth Drive and Pettet Drive were closed so emergency vehicles could get around.
Emergency crews evacuated the Convent of the Holy Names at 2911 West Fort Wright Drive.
The retirement facility houses about 55 people, but officials say slightly fewer were there at the time of the evacuations. Most of the residents are between 80 and 90 years old. Some of the nuns were in wheel chairs. The City used STA busses and ambulances to help them get out of danger.
Officials said the fire was not threatening the building as of 4:00 p.m. Flames did reached as close as 10 feet from the building. Firefighters put water around the building as a precautionary measure.
The convent on Fort Wright Drive is made up of various offices, a chapel, and a senior care center.
The evacuation order will be in place until further notice.