June 25, 2011 in Washington Voices

Valley Fire’s calls return to normal level

By The Spokesman-Review
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Spokane Valley Fire Department crews had a fairly quiet week from June 16 to Wednesday, with the number of calls dropping from last week’s high to a more normal 205.

Two of those calls were because of mischief thought to be caused by teenagers. Just before 11 p.m. on June 17 neighbors next to Redeemer Lutheran Church on Schafer Road called to report hearing an explosion. “We found a can of Axe body spray that had exploded, which tells me that school is out and kids are starting to play” said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford. A witness saw a black Acura speeding from the church parking lot after the explosion was heard.

The next night residents in the 3200 block of North Ella Road also reported hearing an explosion. It appeared that someone put some type of fireworks in a mailbox. Pieces of the mailbox were found in a homeowner’s yard, Clifford said.

Several illegal yard waste fires were called in, and a van carrying insulation caught on fire in the 5900 block of East Broadway Avenue on June 16. The fire caused $10,000 in damage to the van, Clifford said.

The department’s swift water rescue team was called to assist the Spokane Fire Department on a river rescue the night of June 16, but it was discovered that no one was in the river after all. Fire investigator Rick Freier and arson dog Mako were requested to help investigate a suspected arson fire on Four Mound Road west of Spokane on Wednesday.

Thirteen car accidents were reported during the week and six people had to be taken to the hospital. There were 164 EMS calls and one call for a leaking propane tank at a gas station at 411 N. Pines Road. The tank had simply been left on, Clifford said. “We were called and responded and turned it off,” he said.

The Fourth of July is approaching, which always makes fire departments worry about fires started by illegal fireworks. Clifford said that as of right now, grass and other fuels have not dried out. “All it’s going to take is some dry days and some winds and we’re going to have our hands full,” he said.

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