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In brief: Fire spreads from outside into home

A fire Saturday afternoon caused significant damage to a home on Spokane’s South Hill.

The blaze, reported shortly before 5 p.m., started outside the home at 1708 E. 10th Ave., then spread into the attic, said Spokane Fire Department Battalion Chief Joel Fielder. Before firefighters got it under control, the fire badly damaged the front and east side of the single-story home.

James Farley was at the home he shares with his mother, Betty Farley, when he smelled smoke. At first, he said, he thought it was someone barbecuing. He then saw some smoke outside. He tried to put the fire out himself, but it was too late. He and his dog got out of the home safely. His mother, who grew up in the house, was not at home, he said.

The family is insured, Farley said. The cause is under investigation.

Staff reports

VA names director of Spokane hospital

The Department of Veterans Affairs has named Sandy J. Nielsen as director of the Spokane VA Medical Center.

Nielsen, who has headed the Lexington, Ky., VA Medical Center since 2005, was the former associate director of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle and Tacoma.

Nielsen, born in San Francisco, earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

She also earned a master’s in public administration from California State University at Hayward and is a 1999 graduate of the VA’s leadership program.

Nielsen replaces Sharon Helman, who was reassigned to the VA hospital in Hines, Ill., in December.

As Spokane director, Nielsen also will oversee the VA’s outpatient clinics in Wenatchee and Coeur d’Alene.

Kevin Graman

Lead-handling training required

Beginning April 22, all remodeling contractors who disturb lead-based paint must be trained in safe lead-handling practices.

Despite nearly 30 years of effort to reduce childhood lead exposures, a million U.S. children are still poisoned by lead paint each year, putting them at risk for lowered IQ and behavioral disorders, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Some of that poisoning occurs from lead dust stirred up during remodeling.

Contractor certification can be obtained through an eight-hour class. For more information on classes, visit searchrrp_training.htm.

Staff reports

Tags: fire

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