September 3, 2011 in Washington Voices

Man goes to station to report house fire

By The Spokesman-Review
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A bunch of fires kept Spokane Valley Fire Department crews busy during the week ending Aug. 31, resulting in another week of an unusually high number of calls.

A homeowner just down the street from Station 7 at 12th Avenue and Evergreen Road pounded on the door around midnight Aug. 27 to report that his house was on fire, said Fire Marshal Kevin Miller. “It was midnight, so the firefighters were asleep,” Miller said.

The homeowner used the emergency phone at the station to call 911. The cause of the blaze in the basement bedroom was traced to a faulty light fixture, Miller said. It caused about $30,000 in damage to the home.

Other fires reported during the week included a car fire in the WalMart parking lot, a garbage fire at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, two brush fires, a garbage truck fire and an illegal camp fire that got away in the 700 block of South Dishman Road on Aug. 25. A crew responded to the 4400 block of South Gillis Street on Aug. 28 to assist Fire District 8 with what turned out to be a barbecue fire. The grease in the barbecue apparently caught on fire, Miller said.

An arson fire was reported in a vacant lot in the 2400 block of South Robie Road at 5:30 a.m. Aug. 29. “Somebody poured a big long line of gasoline, left the can there and set it on fire,” Miller said. Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the department at (509) 928-1700.

During the rain storm this week crews responded to five electrical pole fires. It’s not uncommon for such fires to happen after a long dry spell, Miller said. “The dirt and the dust that’s up there conducts electricity,” he said.

Crews also were called out on a river rescue during the same storm. A caller reported seeing people on Donkey Island. Four people were floating down the river on two rafts that were tied together when they beached themselves on the island to wait out the worst of the downpour, Miller said. “It was one of those false alarms,” he said.

There were 20 vehicle accidents reported during the week, though 14 did not result in injuries. A bicyclist was hit from behind by a car at Mission Avenue and Evergreen Road on Aug. 25. “He hit the sidewalk and bounced off a pole,” Miller said.

A Jeep driving north on Ella Road ran a stop sign at Broadway and broadsided a semitrailer hauling diesel fuel on Aug. 17. About 80 gallons of fuel spilled.

The department responded to a total of 244 calls during the week, 179 of which were EMS calls.

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