January 16, 2010 in Washington Voices

Old-fashioned wiring, insulation start fire

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A homeowner escaped what could have been a nasty fire last week when old wiring sparked a fire in the attic. Spokane Valley Fire was called to a home in the 8000 block of East Glass Avenue the morning of Jan. 9 after smoke was spotted.

“We had an active fire in the attic due to old wiring and insulation,” said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford. “The house was old enough that it had that knob and tooth wiring. That stuff really shouldn’t have insulation on it. There are many, many homes out there that still have that. There have been some pretty significant fires in the past due to that outdated wiring.”

The only other significant fire of the week was a Ford pickup in the 1800 block of North Fancher Road on Jan. 13. It started in the engine compartment and spread to the cab. The truck was fully aflame when firefighters arrived and was a total loss, Clifford said.

Two incidents called in as structure fires actually involved illegal backyard fires – one a fire pit and the other a burn barrel. Residents who have such fires are given a warning for the first violation, Clifford said. After that they are reported to the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency for a possible fine.

During the week of Jan. 7-13 Valley Fire responded to 210 calls, including nine false alarms and 170 EMS calls. There were 15 car accidents, which resulted in four people being transported to local hospitals with minor injuries.

Firefighters also helped a resident with a home oxygen system and responded to a hazardous materials call that turned out to be false. The most unusual call involved a 5-year-old girl who got her leg stuck in a bunk bed in the 12600 block of East Lenora Drive on Jan. 8. The girl was not injured.

“I think it was just prying the bed far enough over to get her leg out of there,” Clifford said. “They were able to quickly free her leg.”


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