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EMS calls keep fire department busy

The Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to few big calls the week of March 17-23, but a spike in the number of emergency medical service requests pushed the total number of calls to a higher-than-normal 229. “We almost had 200” EMS calls, said Bill Clifford, assistant fire marshal.

Crews responded to the Evergreen Pet Store at 14319 E. Sprague Ave., at 10:25 a.m. on March 21. Employees reported smoke in a small room on the west side of the store that housed fish and reptiles.

“One of the lights above the fish tanks malfunctioned somehow and caught fire,” Clifford said. The burning plastic produced heavy smoke and soot. “It got hot enough to crack a couple of tanks, including one that housed saltwater coral,” Clifford said. “They did lose some fish.”

A damage estimate isn’t yet available but Clifford said it will cost about $10,000 to clean up the mess. “There was quite a heavy layer of soot in that room,” he said.

Firefighters were called to a burning semi that was hauling new cars in the 7100 block of East Mission Avenue the evening of March 20. “A semi had a fire underneath the hood and caused some severe damage to the semi and a truck that was on a rack right above that semi,” Clifford said. The damage to the semi and the new truck is calculated at $83,000.