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Steady drumbeat of calls keeps fire department busy

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews responded to 234 calls the weeks of Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, but the majority of responses were 186 calls for medical assistance.

No major fires were reported during the week. A refrigerator at the Starbucks on Sprague Avenue near Pines Road was “arcing and sparking” and didn’t really do any damage, said assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford. A wall fire caused by an electrical problem caused about $1,000 in damage to a home in the 200 block of South Chronicle Road on Nov. 29.

Some bushes were set on fire outside a home in the 12700 block of East 24th Avenue. “Luckily they caught it and were able to extinguish it,” Clifford said. “That’s the second one now.”

Anyone with information about the fire or a previous shrubbery fire at 32nd Avenue and Dishman-Mica Road is asked to call the department at (509) 928-1700.

Firefighters saved a family from carbon monoxide poisoning the morning of Nov. 29 in Otis Orchards. The medical kits the paramedics carry have a carbon monoxide detector mounted on them and the alarm on the device sounded several times despite being reset, alerting the crew to the danger.

Firefighters were originally dispatched for a “general sickness” call involving a 21-year-old woman. The woman and a baby were the most seriously affected by the colorless and odorless gas. All four people inside the home were taken to a hospital for treatment, Clifford said.

There were 24 car crashes reported during the week and six people were taken to hospitals for treatment. “That’s pretty high, being there’s no snow on the ground,” Clifford said.

Crews were also called three times to help free children accidentally locked inside cars. An adult and five children were freed from a stuck elevator in the 6300 block of East Fourth Avenue on Sunday.

Perhaps the most unusual call during the week was to assist the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office with an intoxicated man at 4 a.m. Sunday. A deputy was giving the man, who reportedly weighed more than 400 pounds, a ride home. The man was unable to get out of the back of the deputy’s car and a fire department crew was called to evaluate the man and help the deputy get him out of the car, Clifford said.