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Smoking sparks oxygen tubing fire

A Spokane Valley resident learned recently that cigarettes and oxygen don’t mix. The Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to a call in the 100 block of North Tschirley Road on Monday after a woman’s oxygen tubing caught fire as she was smoking a cigarette, said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford.

The woman’s son helped her out of her home and threw water on the couch, which had also caught on fire, Clifford said. The woman was not seriously injured.

It is not uncommon for people on oxygen to start fires while smoking, Clifford said. “We’ve had several calls in the past with people on home oxygen either falling asleep and dropping the cigarette on the tubing or the tubing catching on fire because of smoking,” he said.

Welding sparked a garage fire in the 1700 block of North Woodruff Road the evening of Sept. 29. Sparks caught a pile of rags on fire, Clifford said, causing $20,000 in damage to the garage.

A sprinkler system put out a stovetop fire in an apartment complex at 2820 N. Cherry Road on Tuesday evening. “Sprinklers save lives,” Clifford said.

The 242 calls the department responded to the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3 included three illegal outdoor fires, a construction debris fire and people using a fire pit. Crews put out a 15-foot-by-40-foot brush fire along Interstate 90 east of Argonne Road at 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Clifford said the fire was likely started by a discarded cigarette. “Anytime anything like that is off of I-90 that’s probably the reason,” he said.

A downed power line started a small fire in the 20500 block of East First Avenue on Tuesday. The department also responded to 191 EMS calls and 14 car accidents that sent four people to the hospital.