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Washington Voices

Better weather means fewer Valley Fire calls

Sat., Dec. 11, 2010

This garage fire at 3102 N. Lily Road on Dec. 7 was started when gasoline fumes ignited.
This garage fire at 3102 N. Lily Road on Dec. 7 was started when gasoline fumes ignited.

The better weather has translated to fewer calls for the Spokane Valley Fire Department, which responded to 202 calls in the week ending Wednesday. “We’re kind of back down to normal,” said Bill Clifford, assistant fire marshal.

The major event of the week was a garage fire at 3102 N. Lily Road shortly after noon on Tuesday. A man working on his snowmobile accidently ignited gasoline fumes. “Open flame shouldn’t be anywhere near flammable fluids,” Clifford said.

The garage was a total loss and a neighbor’s garage was damaged, but things could have been much worse. The garage is just north of the Union Pacific railroad line and three fire engines were delayed about two minutes by a train blocking the Park Road crossing, Clifford said. The first engine on the scene was able to knock down the fire with the water contained in the engine while firefighters were waiting for the other engines to arrive and hook up to a hydrant.

The delay could have been much more costly if the fire hadn’t been reported early or if it was a home instead of a detached garage, Clifford said. “A couple of minutes could be life or death for somebody,” he said.

The only other fire reported was a Dumpster fire at an apartment complex at 1813 N. Hutchinson Road on Dec. 4. “Obviously somebody had set that fire,” Clifford said.

The department responded to 157 EMS calls and 13 car accidents. Only one person had to be taken to the hospital, but three others were treated at the scene of other accidents. Several calls came in about natural gas or other odors. Firefighters helped rescue some dogs locked inside a running car in the 15700 block of East Broadway Avenue on Dec. 4.

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