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Faulty electrical wiring causes fire

Sat., May 9, 2009

After an investigation, it appears that a fire that destroyed the home of Herb and Jean Davenport on May 1 was caused by faulty electrical wiring in the kitchen, said Spokane Valley Fire spokesman Bill Clifford.

“It sounds like they had some previous electric problems into the home,” he said.

Neighbors reported the fire at 16803 E. Valleyway Ave., shortly after 9 a.m., and it was fully involved when firefighters arrived. The east end of the home was completely gutted, and the loss is estimated at $150,000. The west side of the home was also damaged. “There was not a lot of fire that went into that end of the structure, but a lot of smoke and heat,” he said.

No one was home at the time of the fire. Five dogs died in the blaze. A cat that was initially thought killed was later found hiding in an outbuilding, Clifford said.

There were four other fires reported in the week ending Thursday. A kitchen fire was reported in an apartment at 12422 E. Mansfield Ave. at 9:18 a.m. on Tuesday. The flames were contained to the kitchen, but the fire itself is puzzling investigators.

“It looks like it started inside one of the kitchen cabinets,” Clifford said. “The gal had just moved in the night before, and there was nothing in the cabinet.”

The woman and her two sons were relocated into an empty apartment in the same building.

Two of the fires reported involved arson. Someone lit juniper bushes on fire outside apartments at 12420 E. Mansfield Ave. at 11:34 a.m. on Sunday, and the flames spread to the outside of the building before it was put out. Someone also lit dry grass and logs on fire behind a gas station at 400 N. Pines Road at 5:27 p.m. on April 30. Anyone with information about either fire is asked to call the Fire Department at 928-1700.

The department also responded to a brush fire at 6121 N. Harvard Road. “They were burning yard debris,” Clifford said. “They were instructed to extinguish the fire.”

A total of 214 calls came in for a busy yet routine week. There were eight building alarms, all minor or false, and 18 motor vehicle accidents that sent three people to the hospital with minor injuries. The week included 175 emergency medical service calls.

Firefighters responded to three calls involving broken water pipes or homeowners unable to turn off their water and opened a locked car door for one driver.

Nina Culver can be reached at(509) 927-2158 or via e-mail at

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