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In brief: Deer Park man killed in Highway 2 crash

Sun., Aug. 29, 2010

A 29-year-old Deer Park man died after his car crossed the centerline of U.S. Highway 2 and collided head-on with another car shortly after noon Saturday.

Jason Robert McDowell was northbound on U.S. 2 in a 1987 Subaru GL about two miles north of Chattaroy when he crossed over to the southbound lane and crashed into a 1997 Chevy Tahoe driven by Derris Casselman, 68, of Elk.

McDowell died at the scene, the Washington State Patrol reported. Casselman and his passenger, Arlene Pearl Casselman, 66, were taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. They were both in stable condition Saturday, a nursing supervisor said.

Staff reports

Homeless man admits starting fire near hotel

As temperatures dropped Friday night, a homeless man tried to warm himself with a fire that got out of control.

Andrew M. Wanczak, 36, lit a fire that caused an estimated $20,000 worth of damage in Coeur d’Alene, burning three vehicles and hotel property of the Coeur d’Alene Inn, according to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.

A police officer on patrol noticed flames coming from the parking lot of Dragon House, a Chinese restaurant at 512 E. Appleway Ave., around 4:30 a.m. When the officer found him, Wanczak admitted he started the fire because he was cold. The fire damaged landscaping, fencing and wiring, in addition to hotel guests’ cars, police said.

Officers arrested Wanczak and booked him into Kootenai County Jail on a charge of first-degree arson.

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Firefighters gaining control of blazes

Cooler weather and a break from the wind allowed firefighters to suppress the growth of most of the fires in Washington on Saturday.

The Slide Creek fire near Arden stayed under 1,000 acres, according to a fire agency database, InciWeb. The fire was 30 percent contained and did not grow Saturday. There are fewer than 75 homes at risk, and firefighters removed additional fuels from the fire’s reach.

The Fish Hatchery Road fire just north of Republic is about 20 percent contained and has burned around 650 acres. Friday afternoon, those evacuated were allowed to return to their homes.

The Hubbard fire near Dayton is in mop-up stage. The fire burned about 11,000 acres.

A fire north of Lyle along the Klickitat River drainage grew to more than 2,000 acres Saturday. The fire is almost half contained, but a mandatory evacuation is in effect for residents east of Canyon Road. An advisory evacuation applies from Canyon Road to Hartland Road and Lyle Avenue to Snowden Road, according to InciWeb.

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