Local news

More fires keep Spokane crews running

THURSDAY, AUG. 25, 2011, 8:36 A.M.

Two arson-caused brush and timber fires kept Spokane-area crews busy in recent nights with a third fire reported in a garage on the South Side early today.

The fires come near the end of a long month of fires in Spokane, including an apartment fire death on Sunday and two other serious apartment fires.

Crews from the Spokane Fire Department and county District 9 fought a dangerous fire in forested property Wednesday night along a ridge line east of Indian Trail Road just north of the city limits.

As firefighters arrived shortly after the 8:39 p.m. call, they heard multiple explosions, and entered the property through gates. They found two vehicles burning at the end of a narrow trail.

The fire spread to less than an acre by the time crews got it under control.

The blaze was intentionally set, according to Spokane fire officials.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Reagan said one of the cars, a VW Passat, was taken from a home in the North 12000 block of Hemlock Street, on Aug. 20 or 21. The other vehicle, a 2010 Ford Escape, was taken from a home in the 600 block of East Lakeview on Aug. 19 or 20. Bopth were taken from garages and both had their keys inside. Arson investigators are handling the case.

About 24 hours previously, fire crews raced to the vicinity of Clarke Avenue and Government Way where another acre of property was ablaze.

Firefighters got the slow-moving blaze under control following the 8:49 p.m. Tuesday call.

Arrested in connection with second-degree arson involving the fire was Kenneth K. Johnson, 47.

Fire officials said Johnson had been involved in a domestic ordeal.

A third fire at 3:20 a.m. involved the loss of a detached garage and damage to a vehicle parked next to the garage at 807 E. 39th Ave. Firefighters spent two hours on that blaze.

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