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Snow adds to calls for Valley fire crews

Two days of snowy weather helped boost the number of calls responded to by Spokane Valley Fire Department crews the week of Jan. 19 through Wednesday to a higher than normal 239 calls.

There were 37 car accidents reported during the week, with 13 of them occurring on Jan. 19 and another 14 called in the next day. The accidents were mostly minor, however, and only seven people were taken to the hospital, said assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford.

The biggest incident of the week was a house fire at 12611 N. East Newman Lake Drive just after 1 a.m. on Tuesday. Newman Lake Fire District 13 responded to the fire and requested help from Valley Fire under a mutual aid agreement. The department sent two trucks, a battalion chief and a fire investigator, Clifford said. The home was destroyed and the cause is under investigation.

A fire investigator was also called to assist with a fire in the 800 block of East Fourth Street in Cheney on Monday. The only other fire reported was in the 1300 block of North Elton Road at 2:19 p.m. on Jan. 21. The residents reported seeing sparks and flames coming from a power strip.

“They had one power strip plugged into another power strip,” Clifford said. “That was way overloaded.”

Two power strips should never be connected, he said. If a problem does happen, people should not try to use water to put out the flames. “Probably the safest thing to do is turn the breaker off on the panel,” he said. “A dry chemical extinguisher is your best bet.”

Firefighters also responded to calls for downed power lines, a broken gas line and a child accidentally locked in a car.