Local news

In brief: Men fall through collapsed roof

THURSDAY, FEB. 7, 2008

The roof of a rural fire station southeast of Spokane collapsed as six men were on top removing snow Wednesday night.

The accident happened five hours after fire crews evacuated the building because they heard cracking noises coming from the ceiling, an official with Spokane County Fire District 8 said.

Two men plunged 12 to 14 feet to the floor of Fire Station No. 82, 12100 E. Palouse Highway in Valleyford. Neither was injured, Deputy Chief Lonnie Rash said.

The other four men were on a section of the roof that didn’t collapse, Rash said.

The men were from Belfor Construction Services, a company hired by the fire district to assess the amount of snow on the roof.

Crews evacuated the station and removed fire vehicles and equipment about 2:30 p.m. after hearing the cracking, Rash said.

He said the snow was 6 inches to 2 ½ feet deep on the roof, which is supported by a webbed truss. The portion of the roof that collapsed was about 50 feet by 60 feet and covered the station’s bay, where four trucks park.

An engineer will examine the building today to determine what areas are safe to occupy and give a damage estimate, Rash said.

“I would imagine this fire station will be out of service for a while,” he said, but service in the area won’t be affected.

– Meghann M. Cuniff

Airway heights

Man sentenced in fatal stabbing

A Canadian man was sentenced to at least 13 years in prison for stabbing his brother-in-law to death in a drunken fight last summer.

Bruce L. Kruger, 27, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Friday for killing Jesus Casillas-Robles on July 22, authorities said.

Kruger had been visiting his sister near Airway Heights, police said.

On July 22, Kruger and Casillas-Robles began arguing outside a home in the 1200 block of East Baldwin about 3:30 a.m.

Kruger went into the home and grabbed a kitchen knife, which he used to stab his brother-in-law multiple times.

Kruger drove away, and Casillas-Robles was taken to a hospital, where he died three hours later, police said.

Kruger was found at his sister’s home and arrested a few hours later.

Jody Lawrence-Turner

Four lakes

I-90 semi crash spills raw milk

Thousands of gallons of raw milk spilled from a semi tanker Wednesday morning on Interstate 90.

The tanker was eastbound near the Four Lakes exit when it apparently hit ice and rolled about 5:40 a.m.

It was carrying 64,000 pounds of raw milk from Moses Lake. That’s more than 7,000 gallons, much of which spilled.

Officials shut down one eastbound lane until the crash was cleared at 1:04 p.m.

The driver suffered minor injuries and did not need to be treated, Washington State Patrol Trooper Todd Kerbs said.

The cause could have been excessive speed for the conditions or faulty brakes on the trailer, he said.

“I wish someone would bring some Oreos,” Kerbs said.

To watch a video of wrecker operators righting the tanker, go to spokesmanreview.com.

– Thomas Clouse


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