June 4, 2011 in Washington Voices

Unusual calls highlight week for fire crews

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Crews with the Spokane Valley Fire Department were kept busy the week of May 26 to June 1, but there were no major response calls.

There was the usual mix of yard waste fires and calls from people who spotted smoke, but there were a couple of unusual calls that stood out. Firefighters were called to the Valley Transfer Station off Sullivan Road at 6:49 p.m. on May 31. “It was after hours and there was a fire in the garbage debris,” said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford. “A couple of chemicals probably reached each other and caused a fire.”

Employees were called in to use their equipment to pull the pile apart so firefighters could extinguish the flames, Clifford said.

The other unusual call involved an electric sign on the outside of Hotteez at 20 N. Raymond at 7:35 a.m. on May 26. “One of those letters caught fire,” Clifford said. Damage was estimated at $1,000.

A fire in a field in the 16000 block of East Saltese Road was called in at 5:43 p.m. on May 30. The fire, which is considered suspicious, was about 20 feet by 20 feet large, Clifford said. It appears that someone set off fireworks, which started the fire. Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the department at (509) 928-1700.

There were a few oddities the rest of the week as well. The department received five hazardous materials calls from people reporting smelling everything from smoke to natural gas to propane. In each instance nothing was found by the responding crews. “They were on separate days,” Clifford said. “It was very strange.”

The department responded to 10 car accidents during the week, but not a single person needed to be taken to the hospital. “That’s pretty awesome,” Clifford said. “It would be even more awesome if there were no accidents.”

Overall crews responded to 200 calls, 159 of them for EMS issues.

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