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Dishwasher blaze at station is firefighters’ biggest job

Sat., Dec. 18, 2010

It was a fire inside Spokane Valley Fire Station 6 that topped the week of Dec. 9-15 for firefighters with Spokane Valley Fire.

The crew returned from a call just after 11 p.m. Dec. 13 to find smoke and flames in the station’s kitchen, said assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford. They put out the flames with a fire extinguisher.

The cause of the fire was traced to a malfunctioning dishwasher, which had been subject to a recall. “It started right in the control panel,” Clifford said. The kitchen had just been repainted and that work had to be redone, Clifford said. The fire caused a total of $5,000 in damage.

Firefighters spent the next day responding to calls from Station 1 while the station was cleaned up.

There were only 184 calls during the week, which is lower than usual. “Station 6’s fire was the worst of all of them,” Clifford said. “We had a couple of chimney fires.”

The department was called to one usual fire. A newspaper carrier called just after 6 a.m. on Dec. 12 to report a fire in the back of a van parked in the 600 block of North Shamrock Road with a man inside. Firefighters discovered a man lying next to a small barbecue with a Presto log burning. “That’s what he was using to keep warm in the van,” Clifford said.

The fire was a bad idea for two reasons, Clifford said. Having open flame around gas is never a good idea. “The worst other outcome that could have happened was carbon monoxide poisoning,” he said. “He could die being inside of there. He was upset that we put his fire out. We explained to him why that wasn’t safe.”

There were several car accidents, all very minor. A man called just before 10 a.m. Dec. 11 in the 11800 block of East Lenora Drive to report that someone had gone through his car and there was a white substance inside. He was apparently worried that it could be something hazardous, Clifford said. Firefighters responded and discovered it wasn’t anything to be worried about and the mess was vacuumed up, he said.

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