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Firefighters cut handcuffs to free boy

Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford of Spokane Valley Fire has a few words of advice for anyone playing with handcuffs – make sure you have the key.

Firefighters were called to the 7200 block of East Fourth Avenue on the morning of Feb. 20 to help police with two juvenile boys who had been playing with handcuffs they didn’t have a key to. They had locked themselves together. “Why would you even put those on?” Clifford said. “If I had a set of handcuffs, I’d want to have the keys there to get them off.”

One boy was able to slip out of the cuffs, but firefighters had to use bolt cutters to remove the metal bracelet from the other boy. “No amputations were needed,” Clifford said.

The rest of the week from Feb. 18 to Wednesday was fairly calm, with 180 calls. Nine structure fires were reported. “They were all pretty minor – a couple chimney fires, a Dumpster fire,” said Clifford.

The department did send an engine to assist Fire District 8 with a fire in the 5700 block of East 19th Avenue on Wednesday. Firefighters also responded to two illegal recreational fires, a legal recreational fire and one car engine fire.

A 12-gallon fuel spill was reported at a gas station in the 15100 block of East Trent Avenue on Feb. 22 and firefighters put down absorbent material to allow for cleanup. Firefighters also were called to Mission Avenue and Argonne Road to help an RV owner who spilled sewage from his RV while trying to drain the tanks. “They responded to help wash it down,” Clifford said.

There were 131 EMS calls during the week and 15 car accidents that sent five people to the hospital. Firefighters helped police again on a call reporting juveniles on the roof of Greenacres Elementary. “The only reason we responded was to provide a ladder,” Clifford said. Police didn’t find anyone on the roof.

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