Spokane Valley Fire Department crews and several residents teamed up to rescue a horse last week in the most memorable call the department responded to in the two weeks between Dec. 13 and 26.
Missy wandered into a neighbor’s yard and fell through a pool cover and into the pool. Firefighters were called just before 9 a.m. on Dec. 18 when the horse was spotted. “The night before we had the high winds that came through,” said assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford. “It blew down the fence on the back of the property where the swimming pool was.”
It appears that the homeowners warned Missy’s owners about the downed fence but the horse’s owners didn’t think the animal would walk across the fallen fence, Clifford said.
No one knows how long the horse was in the pool before she was found, Clifford said. “The horse didn’t drown and hypothermia didn’t set in,” he said.
Firefighters and citizens built a makeshift set of wooden steps for the horse to climb out of the shallow end of the pool. “We turned that horse around and up and out it went,” he said.
The horse suffered only a couple of minor injuries and was able to return home, Clifford said.
Crews responded to 470 calls during a busy but otherwise relatively uneventful two weeks. The total included 379 EMS calls. The number of car accidents was up, as was the number of false fire alarms, Clifford said. “I think some of that, too, is due to the high winds that came through,” he said.
Many of the 36 car accidents reported were due to bad weather, but there were no serious injuries. Nine people were sent to the hospital and several others were treated at the scene.
Firefighters also responded to several downed power lines, a couple of chimney fires, a car fire and a Dumpster fire at Kaiser Aluminum. Crews were also called when a car hit a convenience store at 22304 E. Appleway Ave. just after 4 a.m. on Dec. 26.
“It sounds like a vehicle center-punched the side of the building and then took off,” Clifford said. “They had sparks arcing and stuff. It knocked in the wall, damaged the electrical.”
The only major structure fire reported was in the 4800 block of North Conklin Road just after 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. An 11-year-old boy was reportedly experimenting with perfume and a lighter and set several items in his room on fire, Clifford said. The fire caused $20,000 in damage and the Red Cross is assisting the family, he said.
Crews were also called to Hilderbrand Auto at 10423 E. Trent Ave. twice on Dec. 22.
“They were dismantling a pickup camper and burning it,” Clifford said. “We educated them the first time.”
The second time crews were called the burning violators were reported to Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency, he said.
“Next time they’ll be fined,” he said.