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Suspicious car fire investigated in Valley

Sat., Jan. 21, 2012

Fires and car accidents kept Spokane Valley Fire Department crews busy during the week of Jan. 12 through Wednesday, including two fires reported in the early morning hours on Jan. 14.

One fire is considered suspicious and the other was caused by a wood stove. A call about a car on fire came in at 3:41 a.m. Firefighters arrived at an apartment complex at 8910 E. Broadway Ave., to find a burning car next to a fence. The flames spread to the fence but the fire was put out before it spread to the building, said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford. A 2002 Hyundai was destroyed. The fire is suspicious and remains under investigation, Clifford said.

The second call came in at 4:09 a.m. A resident in the 19900 block of East Sprague Avenue was awakened by the smell of smoke. When firefighters arrived they found smoke coming from the attic. The cause was traced to a wood stove that was placed against the home’s wooden walls. The home sustained $15,000 in damage, Clifford said.

Another vehicle fire was reported at 1:08 a.m. Jan. 13 in the 900 block of South Liberty Drive. The fire appeared to have started on the passenger seat, which had a vacuum cleaner sitting on it, Clifford said. Cigarette butts were also found on the floor of the car near the passenger seat, he said. The cause is under investigation.

The department responded to 31 car accidents during the week.

The worst accident of the week was a T-bone crash at Valleyway and Sargent Road at 2:41 p.m. on Jan. 13. The impact sent one car up on its side and both drivers were taken to the hospital, Clifford said.

There were 15 accidents Wednesday, the first day of a snowstorm. “There were several on the freeway that State Patrol reported were noninjury,” Clifford said. “We didn’t go.”

The bad roads also sent two cars sliding into fire hydrants. “I believe in both of those the hydrants were hit and the people drove away,” Clifford said.

Firefighters rescued people trapped in an elevator in the 12600 block of East Mission Avenue on Sunday and responded to 164 EMS calls. Two crews also responded to Riverfront Park on Jan. 13 to help the Spokane Fire Department with a river rescue.

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