In brief: Resident burned in apartment fire
One person was severely burned in a downtown apartment fire Saturday, Spokane Fire Department officials said.
The fire started in a third-story unit in a brick building at Second Avenue and Browne Street, Battalion Chief Mike Thompson said in a news release. Twenty-five firefighters in eight companies responded to an 8:42 a.m. report.
Firefighters entered via a fire escape at the back of the building, and they found the occupant of the unit there amid heavy smoke and flames. The unidentified victim was taken to a local hospital and prepared for transport to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Thompson said.
It took firefighters about an hour to extinguish the blaze. There was no damage outside the room in which the fire started, Thompson said, estimating the damage at $20,000.
Patrol car crash may have been a setup
Investigators are looking into whether a rollover crash early Friday morning that injured a Spokane Valley police officer may have been intentionally caused.
The unidentified officer sustained minor injuries that will take him off duty for a couple of weeks, KHQ-TV reported Saturday. The patrol car was totaled.
The officer was responding to a report of a fight at Pines Elementary School. His vehicle struck a large log in the roadway on Pines Road and flipped over. There was also a bin full of rocks further along in the middle of the road, KHQ reported.
Other officers responding to the scene of the reported fight found no one there, leading to a suspicion that the report was a ruse intended to bring officers along the Pines route.
Spokane Valley contracts with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for police services, so its officers are sheriff’s deputies.
“If we do determine that it is, basically, an ambush situation for the deputies, we will be looking at full prosecution,” Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told KHQ.
Anyone with information about the debris in the road or the fight report is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
Felon gets 7 years for gun possession
A Whitman County man who bragged about being involved with racist taco-truck protests in Kootenai County has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for unlawful gun possession.
Jeremiah Daniel “J.D.” Hop’s lawyer, Roger Peven, asked for him to receive between 15 and 21 months in prison, according to court documents, but U.S. District Judge Robert Whaley rejected that request on Wednesday.
Hop, 31, is to be on probation for three years after his release.
Hop was arrested during an FBI investigation on April 20, 2011, for possessing an Izhmash 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun on March 25.
His brother, Michael Hop, said he was set up by an FBI informant who supplied the shotgun after suggesting they go shooting.
Federal agents searched his home in Pullman on April 20 and seized that shotgun, then searched a property in Colton and seized four rifles, a shotgun and more than 150 rounds of ammunition.
Hop was convicted in California of third-degree rape of a child in 2005, a felony that prohibits him from possessing firearms or ammunition. The conviction stemmed from a consensual relationship with a girl who was 14 when she first met Hop. She wrote a letter urging Whaley to keep him out of jail.
“I strongly believe he is NOT a danger to society,” the woman, now 23, wrote. “At the time I was being physically and mentally abused, he was my lifesaver.”