October 2, 1997 in Washington Voices

Iguana Scales 65-Foot Fir Tree; Safely Rescued By Firefighters

By The Spokesman-Review

Tarzan stayed home, but Lizzy got away.

Desiree Cassano made the mistake of leaving her back door ajar last Thursday. When her dog, Tarzan, pushed it wide open, Cassano’s pet iguana Lizzy made his great escape.

It took the Spokane Fire Department and Curtis Rew, Cassano’s husband, more than an hour to bring Lizzy down from a 65-foot fir tree.

“I’d noticed that he had been kind of restless around the house and acting different,” Cassano said of Lizzy, who is 4 feet long and 4 years old.

The first time Lizzy escaped, he was gone four days. A neighbor spotted him in Cassano’s cherry tree. Rew was able to get him down by himself.

The second rescue attempt Thursday was more difficult.

Lizzy climbed out on a thin branch that couldn’t support Rew’s weight.

Cassano called the fire department for help and was told that they could only aid in the rescue of pets missing for 24 hours or more.

“The first time he escaped, the weather was warm,” Cassano said. “But (Thursday) night was supposed to turn cold.”

Iguana’s are cold-blooded reptiles, so Lizzy’s chances of surviving the night in the tree weren’t very good, Cassano said.

The fire department took Lizzy’s reptilian status into consideration and decided to send out a rescue truck, according to fire Lt. Larry Mummy.

Firefighters raised a ladder in Lizzy’s direction. Realizing his time in the tree was running out, Lizzy tried to climb down but was intercepted by Rew who grabbed him.

Cassano and Rew said their three dogs, three cats, guinea pig, bird and iguana are all home and accounted for.

For now anyway.

Teens rob man

Two teenage boys robbed a man walking home from shopping on Sept. 23.

The 26-year-old victim told police he was walking north on Belt near Boone when he noticed two boys walking behind him, said police spokesman Dick Cottam.

The teens approached the man and asked him for a match, and then one of the boys showed a handgun and demanded the man’s wallet and groceries, Cottam said.

The teens then ran north between houses and disappeared, Cottam said.

The victim described the teens as two white males, both 5-foot-6, clean-shaven, with medium builds.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233.

Clerk injured

A convenience store owner was injured Sunday morning when he tried to stop a man who drove away without paying for gasoline.

The owner of the Super C Store at 1809 N. Ash reported that a man put $5 worth of gasoline in his car at 6:45 a.m., came into the store to pick out several candy bars and then said he needed to go to his car for money, police spokesman Dick Cottam said.

As the customer started to drive away, the owner reached inside the car and grabbed the man’s hair, Cottam said. As the man accelerated, the owner was dragged out of the gas station lot. He fell to the pavement at the intersection of Nora and Oak, Cottam said.

The owner was treated at a local hospital for cuts and scrapes.

The robber is described as a white male between 25-30 years old, 5-feet-6 inches tall and wearing a hooded gray and green-striped jacket. The vehicle is described as a white four-door with a missing driver’s side interior door panel.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233.

Pancake spread

COPS Northeast is hosting a pancake feed Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to noon at the Moose Lodge at 6363 N. Lidgerwood.

Cost for breakfast is $3.50 for pancakes, scrambled eggs, meat, coffee and juice. Proceeds go toward COPS Northeast.

For more information call 625-3343.

Interested in law enforcement?

Young men and women interested in law enforcement are invited to attend an orientation meeting tonight at 7 in the City Council chambers at City Hall.

Spokane police are looking for volunteers to become reserve officers with the police department. Reserves will receive 256 hours of academy training between February and May of next year.

Successful graduates will work with regular patrol officers and have the authority to make arrests.

Training involves a wide range of subjects including relevant laws, officer self-defense, emergency driving techniques, crime scene operations and evidence gathering.

Applicants must be at least 21 by December 17, be in good physical condition, have a high school diploma or equivalent with a 2.5 gpa, a driver’s license and be a U.S. citizen.

For more information call 625-4083.

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