May 12, 2012 in Washington Voices

Kids and fire keep Valley crews busy

By The Spokesman-Review
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Children and teens playing with fire resulted in several calls to the Spokane Valley Fire Department again during the week of May 3-Wednesday and it may have something to do with the weather. “As it gets nicer, kids are getting out and getting into trouble,” said Capt. Pat Schaffer.

People saw a group of teens walking away from a brush fire in the 2900 block of North Pines at 5 p.m. on Monday. “Our investigator was able to track them down and talk to them,” Schaffer said. “One of them did admit to it.”

A 3-year-old playing with a cigarette lighter apparently lit a small section of carpet on fire in a home in the 1700 block of North Union Road at 12:30 a.m. on May 5. It was already out when firefighters arrived, Schaffer said. “The parents were all over it.”

Kids playing with matches were also responsible for a brush fire in the 4500 block of North Arden Road at 3:30 p.m. on May 5. “We got them, too,” Shaffer said. “When the red truck pulls up they just freeze or run away. It’s a dead giveaway.”

A brush fire was reported along Trent near Barker Road at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday. The small fire was most likely started by a lit cigarette tossed from a moving car, Schaffer said.

There were also three Dumpster fires reported during the week and Shaffer said kids or teens may be responsible for those as well. “They were spread out,” he said.

Firefighters responded to 238 calls during the week. The number was pushed up largely due to 202 EMS calls, a higher number than usual. One of the calls received on Wednesday involved a person who had stopped breathing, Schaffer said. The person was revived. “Whenever you can bring somebody back who’s not breathing, that’s the stuff we live for,” he said.

The department did receive an unusual hazardous materials call in the 7100 block of East Fairview Avenue at 4 p.m. on May 4. Someone backed a car into their garage and knocked over an acetylene tank and oxygen tank used for welding, Schaffer said. “One of them was hissing,” he said. Firefighters were able to shut off the flow of gas without incident.

There were 14 vehicle accidents reported during the week that sent four people to the hospital.

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