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Washington Voices

Fire department lends a hand in Spokane

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews spent a lot of time this week responding to calls for help from other jurisdictions.

The department’s swift water rescue team helped recover a body from the Spokane River at West Boone Avenue in Spokane this week. They were also called to assist the Washington State Patrol with a woman who had jumped into the river while trying to evade arrest at Greene Street just after noon on July 23. The team was canceled while they were on their way when the woman made her way out of the water, said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford.

The department also sent six firefighters, a brush truck, a communications trailer and three administrative officers to the Road 29 fire near Odessa early in the week. The fire was put out by heavy rains, Clifford said, and was caused by a landowner doing some maintenance work. “It was caused by an electrical drill,” he said.

The department responded to only one major fire, which was reported at 3 a.m. July 24 in the 4400 block of East 15th Avenue. The family living there was out of town at the time and firefighters considered the fire suspicious. Neighbors reported seeing a dark-colored car driving away with its lights off, Clifford said.

The department’s arson dog, Mako, was brought in to sniff for accelerants and alerted on several areas, Clifford said. The case is under investigation. The fire caused about $100,000 in damage to the home.

Firefighters also responded to three downed power lines, a vehicle fire that sparked a brush fire and a fire in the 27000 block of East Kildea Avenue that appeared to be caused by fireworks. “They found smoking fireworks in the street,” Clifford said.

A resident in the 1800 block of North Hutchinson Road also reported that someone tried to light their car on fire. The incident is under investigation.

During the week a woman called 911 after she became worried that her boyfriend hadn’t returned from floating the river. She said the two were floating together, but she got out at Sullivan Road and he said he wanted to continue. She became worried when he did not return after a couple of hours, Clifford said. “We sent crews up and down the river trying to locate this young man,” he said.

The man was located in the area of Plantes Ferry Park. “There was no problem,” Clifford said.

There were 10 car accidents in the total of 215 calls reported during the week of July 21-27. One person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. There were 178 EMS calls.