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Discarded cigar cause of Denenny home fire

Sat., Aug. 2, 2008

The July 4 fire that destroyed Spokane Valley City Councilman Dick Denenny’s home was caused by a cigar he discarded in a potted plant.

It’s a common mistake, Fire Marshal Kevin Miller said. Most people don’t realize that potting soil burns.

Like Denenny, they go outside to smoke and stub out their smokes in a flower pot.

“I had no idea that stuff was anything but dirt,” Denenny said, adding that he hopes people will learn from his mistake.

Potting soil contains peat moss, wood fiber and other flammable material, Miller said.

“It causes quite a few of our fires,” he said. “We’ve had a half a dozen of them in recent memory.”

Denenny said contractors have just started an eight-month process of rebuilding his house in the 1600 block of South Virginia Road.

“I would say two-thirds of the house is pretty well burned,” he said. “It’s much worse than it looks from the outside.”

Denenny and his wife Kathy are living in temporary quarters elsewhere in the city. He said they are grateful for the sympathy they have received.

“The e-mails, the cards, the concern were just overwhelming,” Denenny said.

– John Craig

Revitalization Plan hearing planned for Aug. 19

The city of Spokane Valley has added a second public hearing to allow more comment on the proposed Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan.

The meeting, set for 7 p.m. Aug  19 at CenterPlace, will address section three, City Actions. Written comments are also being accepted and may be sent to SARP Comments, City of Spokane Valley City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague, Suite 106, Spokane Valley, WA 99206 or via e-mail to The plan is available at City Hall and online at

CenterPlace is located at 2426 N. Discovery Place. Call 688-0050 for more information.

– Nina Culver

Riverview residents donate healthcare supplies

Members of Riverview Retirement Community recently donated 75 mechanical beds from their long-term care center to Clearpath International. Clearpath takes donated medical supplies to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Afghanistan.

Clearpath will take the beds to a hospital in Cambodia for land mine accident survivors.

Riverview also has donated wheelchairs and walkers for the land mine survivors.

For information about Riverview Retirement Community, call 483-6483.Visit for more information about Clearpath International.

– Rainey Coffin


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