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Washington Voices

Busy week for Valley Fire Department

The Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to a whopping 247 calls the week of June 9-15, nearly 50 more than usual. The increase was mostly in fires and medical calls, said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford.

The one major fire of the week was reported in the 1200 block of South Liberty Road in Liberty Lake on Tuesday. A fire started in the engine of a car parked in front of an attached garage. “It burned really hot and extended to the surrounding bushes and the garage,” Clifford said. The front end of the car was severely damaged. “The dash was all burnt and melted and falling to the floor.” There wasn’t a lot of fire damage to the inside of the house, he said.

Eight yard-waste fires were reported. “It seems like we get three or so a week but this week they really jumped up,” Clifford said. The problem is that the fires are illegal. “If people are living on the Valley floor there is no burning allowed except for recreational fires,” Clifford said.

The department responded to an unusual call on Tuesday evening in the 300 block of North Bowdish Road. Some apartment residents came home and discovered fire damage in a bedroom. A fire had apparently started and then died when it ran out of oxygen, Clifford said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

A garbage truck was reported on fire at Pines Road and Mission Avenue Wednesday morning. The fire was mostly out when firefighters arrived, Clifford said.

A homeowner in the 10600 block of East Sharp Avenue broke his own natural gas line the afternoon of June 11. He was digging up shrubs from his yard and using a chain to yank them from the ground, Clifford said. “One of the roots was wrapped around the gas line,” he said.

The number of EMS calls was up sharply to 194. There were 11 car accidents reported and four people had to be taken to the hospital. Firefighters helped someone in a wheelchair get unstuck from the mud and also helped two people locked out of their cars.