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Ugly Duck fire caused by burning debris

Sat., Aug. 2, 2008

The fire that ravaged a building supply warehouse in West Central Spokane on July 10 began with burning debris in an alley east of the building and spread with the help of gas from a natural gas meter, according to the Spokane Fire Department.

Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer issued a news release Friday saying that although the cause is still under investigation, the fire at the Ugly Duck warehouse, 1727 W. Sinto Ave., burned grass and weeds and was fed by combustibles located next to the building. It was the fourth fire in five years at the Ugly Duck, which specializes in selling doors, kitchen cabinets and other wooden materials.

The three-alarm blaze was the first in a flurry of fires that day – including the Valley View fire – that kept emergency crews so busy one dispatcher said she’d lost count.

Meghann M. Cuniff

Firefighter released from hospital

A firefighter injured fighting the downtown blaze that damaged the Joel building on July 24 was released from a hospital Friday after his condition worsened earlier this week.

Shawn Poole, who fell through the first-floor flooring while attacking the fire, suffered a chest injury and was initially treated and released for his injury. But he was re-admitted Wednesday after he suffered “serious complications” as a result of the initial injury, Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said.

Schaeffer would not specify the type of injury for personal and medical reasons, he said. “It was a serious injury that resulted in problems breathing,” Schaeffer said.

While Poole was released from the hospital Friday, it could be weeks before he is able to return to work, Schaeffer said.

“He also injured his knee, which is pretty serious as well,” Schaeffer said.

Investigators have determined that the three-alarm blaze started in the basement of the Joel building, the cause has not yet been determined.

Thomas Clouse


West Nile detection brings warnings

The detection of West Nile virus in Eastern Washington has prompted an advisory to use mosquito repellents on skin and clothing.

Although eight in 10 people bitten by mosquitoes carrying West Nile have no symptoms, others can suffer fever, headaches, nausea, weakness and fatigue within two to 15 days.

Some infected people can become very ill. The disease can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), meningitis (inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord), paralysis and other disabling nerve conditions.

People older than 50 are especially vulnerable to infection.

State officials confirmed the virus in two horses, one in Moses Lake and another near Prosser. These are the first cases of the year for Washington.

Eight horses, all in Yakima County, were infected last year.

John Stucke


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