Voices

Love’s dying embers bring firefighters

Spokane Valley firefighters were called this week to deal with a burning love affair.

Responding to a report of an illegal trash fire about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday, firefighters found a resident in the 1700 block of North Raymond Road was burning a stack of love letters in an outdoor fireplace.

Deputy Fire Marshal Bill Clifford said the flames of love may have gone cold, but the billets-doux were still smoldering when firefighters arrived. Firefighters instructed the man to dowse the burning notes with his garden hose.

At that point, the man literally was “drowning his sorrows,” Clifford said.

It’s OK to start a recreational fire with paper, he said, but “you’re not supposed to use your outside fire to get rid of paper.”

When romance dies, shred the painful reminders, Clifford suggested.

The call was among 222 the Spokane Valley Fire Department received in the reporting week that ended Wednesday night.

Seven structure fires all were minor.

One structure fire was averted when a neighbor scared off three boys who were trying to ignite a portable toilet at Bowdish Middle School, 2109 S. Skipworth Road, shortly before 11 p.m. July 16.

Clifford said the boys were pouring gasoline in and on the plastic toilet when they saw the neighbor and fled on their bicycles. But the neighbor reported the boys, whose ages he estimated at 9 to 13, returned about 10 minutes later and resumed their arsonous efforts.

At that point, Clifford said, the neighbor stepped out of his home and pretended to take photographs. The boys fled so fast that time they left their gasoline can behind, and investigators are studying it.

Clifford asked anyone with information about the attempted arson, or anyone in the vicinity whose gasoline can is missing, to call the fire department at (509) 928-1700.

He also asked people to call with information about a small brush fire Sunday that appeared to have been caused by vandals. The fire occurred about 4:40 p.m. at 6304 E. Seventh Ave.

Witnesses spotted the fire when they investigated what sounded like fireworks. Clifford said they reported seeing two men in baseball caps, wearing dark green and light green shirts, igniting something in a mailbox. They also reported seeing a dark green or blue car with a loud muffler.

Firefighters found burned paper inside the mailbox.

Three other brush fires were minor.

Twelve vehicle accidents sent six people to hospitals with injuries that weren’t life-threatening.

Clifford said a motorcyclist apparently suffered the worst injury when his bike spilled in the intersection of Trent Avenue and Starr Road about 11:35 p.m. Monday. He said the man, who told firefighters he had been traveling about 60 mph, sustained “some pretty severe road rash” and an injury to his right foot.

Four minor hazardous-materials calls included one in which firefighters found what appeared to be stolen property instead of a hazard. There also were remnants of wire that had been stripped, Clifford said.

He said Spokane Valley police were called to the scene in the 11300 block of East Montgomery Avenue about 9:30 a.m. July 16.

Other calls included a downed power line, a vehicle fire on Interstate 90, 11 false or minor automatic alarms and a couple of calls for general service.

One of the general-service calls was last Saturday, to find out whether any gasoline had been spilled when a fallen tree smashed a shed at 508 N. Bowdish Road.



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