Local news

In brief: Home fire displaces 8; marijuana found

SATURDAY, NOV. 26, 2011

Spokane firefighters on Friday battled an electrical fire in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood that displaced eight people from a two-story home that had been converted into apartments.

But along with finding flames at the residence, responders discovered a marijuana grow operation, Spokane Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer said.

Crews responded at 4:43 a.m. to 1001 N. Elm St., where heavy smoke billowed from the second story of the home. All eight occupants were able to evacuate under heavy smoke conditions, Schaeffer said.

Firefighters battled the fire for about 90 minutes.

The building sustained about $30,000 in damage, Schaeffer said.

The marijuana was reported to the Spokane Police Department.

Staff reports

Wave of burglaries hits Manito Boulevard area

Spokane police say at least 10 homes have been burglarized near Manito Boulevard in the past three days while the homeowners were asleep.

In most cases, the burglars entered through windows and took women’s purses.

The homes are within the 2100 block to 3700 block area of South Manito Boulevard.

Police suggest homeowners check basement windows and other “hidden entry points” to make sure they’re locked or otherwise secured.

Police also would like people to call Crime Check, at (509) 456-2233, if they’ve been the victim of a burglary in that area.

Staff reports

Avista outlines plan for meeting demand

Avista Utilities anticipates building new power plants and boosting energy efficiency to meet growth in its electrical load over the next 20 years.

The Spokane-based utility expects customer demand for electricity to grow 1.6 percent annually during that time. To meet that demand, Avista plans on adding about 1,000 megawatts of electrical capacity and gaining 447 megawatts through energy-efficiency savings over the next two decades. The plan is outlined in the utility’s draft integrated resource plan, which is updated every two years. The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is accepting comments on the plan through Dec. 5 at www.puc.idaho.gov.

Most of the planned electrical generation, about 760 megawatts, would come from natural gas plants, with 240 megawatts coming from wind turbines. 

The Palouse Wind project south of Spokane is expected to be online by the end of 2012.  The project can generate up to 100 megawatts of electricity, but its expected annual average output is 40 megawatts because the wind is intermittent. 

Becky Kramer


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