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Firefighters stop blaze at rendering plant

Spokane firefighters responded with seven fire engines Saturday night when at least three semitrucks burned at Spokane Rendering Co., near Spokane Community College.

The fire, which was starting to spread into an adjacent warehouse on the property, was quickly knocked down.

The cause was not known. Battalion Chief Steve Sabo asked for help from a fire investigator.

A fire crew sent to check initial reports of the fire was slowed because a train was blocking access to the plant, officials said. That was about 9:30 p.m.

The rendering plant complex, which includes several buildings at 4423 E. Hutton, is owned by Baker Commodities Inc. of Los Angeles, according to Spokane County records.

Colfax, Wash.

Crop-duster pilot walks away from crash

A pilot in Whitman County escaped serious injury when he crash-landed his biplane shortly after takeoff near Colfax on Saturday morning.

Washington State Patrol troopers said the pilot walked away from the crash of the Grumman Ag-Cat crop duster at the fairgrounds just west of Colfax. State Highway 26 was closed for a short time while crews responded to the emergency.

The pilot, whose name was not released, had reportedly taken off from a nearby airport before being forced to land.

Fuel was leaking from the aircraft, and power lines were knocked down in the accident. The cause was under investigation.

– Mike Prager


Infant girl remains in critical condition

A 6-month-old girl remained in critical condition Saturday at Sacred Heart Medical Center, two days after suffering a brain injury while in the care of her mother’s boyfriend.

Jereme J. Bassett, 22, of Spokane, remained in Spokane County Jail on Saturday on a charge of first-degree assault.

Bail was set Friday at $1 million.

A doctor who treated Nevaeh Alana Miller told police her injuries could only have been caused by abuse, not an accidental fall as claimed by Bassett, detectives have said.

Bassett declined through jail officials to be interviewed Saturday.

The baby’s mother, identified in documents as Jennifer Wilcox, was working at the time of the injury.

As of Saturday, she had checked out of the West Wynn Motel, 2701 W. Sunset Blvd., where she had lived with her infant daughter and 8-year-old son and Bassett.

The baby was injured Thursday afternoon at the motel.

Wilcox got back to the room from her job about 5 p.m. and quickly summoned emergency help.

– Mike Prager


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