Overloaded outlet, candle cause fires

An attic fire and a bedroom fire topped out 166 calls from Dec. 16 to Dec. 21 for Spokane Valley Fire.

The attic fire was reported at 5:21 p.m. on Dec. 19 in the 6500 block of East Eighth Avenue. Overloaded electrical wires were to blame, said assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford. “It sounds like they had a space heater and a refrigerator plugged into the same outlet,” he said. The estimated damage to wiring, insulation and walls is about $15,000, Clifford said.

A candle left on a dresser in a bedroom set the bedroom of a house in the 1100 block of South Girard Road on fire just before midnight on Dec. 16. There was a lot of smoke damage but little from flames, Clifford said. He recommends that people make sure burning candles aren’t left unattended.

A van burst into flames in the 700 block of South McKinnon on Dec. 16. The owner of the older van was working on it and reported that it made a strange noise after it was started, Clifford said. The man saw flames in the engine and near the fuel tank. Crews were able to limit the damage to the van. “It did not extend to any of the surrounding structures,” Clifford said.

A 17-year-old female driver hit a power pole in the 6700 block of East Sprague shortly after 10 p.m. on Dec. 18. She was treated by paramedics at the scene and didn’t require a trip to the hospital, Clifford said.

There were 17 other vehicle accidents reported during the week, a higher number than normal. Only four people were taken to the hospital, all with non-life-threatening injuries. “I’m sure some of that was due to the weather,” Clifford said.

The department also responded to a water main break on Barker Road and a person who hit a fire hydrant. “The hydrants we have here are dry hydrants” so no water fountains into the air if the hydrants are broken off, Clifford said.

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