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Blazes, crashes keep Spokane Valley fire crews busy

This car was involved in a high-speed accident at Trent Avenue and Progress Road on Tuesday. Two teens were sent to the hospital with serious injuries.
This car was involved in a high-speed accident at Trent Avenue and Progress Road on Tuesday. Two teens were sent to the hospital with serious injuries.

A home on Wellesley Avenue near East Valley High School burned down for a second time Sunday. A cause has not yet been determined, said Spokane Valley Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford.

“It’s probably going to be a total loss,” he said.

The first fire was May 28, 2011. The cause for that is undetermined, but investigators were unable to rule out an accidental fire started by a 2-year-old in the home. “The 2-year-old had burns on his fingers and obviously knew how to work a lighter,” Clifford said.

The house was rebuilt, Clifford said, and the family moved back into it in November.

Firefighters responded to a reported brush fire at Pines Road and Valleyway Avenue at 11:27 a.m. Oct. 5. The fire spread to a detached shed, garage and RV before firefighters arrived, Clifford said. When crews arrived bystanders told them there was a meth lab on site, Clifford said. Firefighters didn’t find a meth lab, but they went through decontamination procedures afterward as a precaution, he said.

Investigators haven’t determined the cause, but are looking at either a cigarette or an electrical problem. There were electrical cords running from the house to the garage and RV and some of the cords were covered by piles of trash, Clifford said.

Numerous other reported fires helped push the total number of calls to 254 the week of Oct. 4-10. A brush fire was reported in the 1400 block of South Dishman-Mica Road the evening of Oct. 5. “We had some juveniles in the area that were playing with fire around the railroad tracks,” Clifford said. “They were spoken to and sent on their way.”

Someone set fire to a Dumpster behind Pasadena Park Church of the Nazarene on Upriver Drive in the early morning hours of Oct. 5, destroying it. Someone lit a Dumpster on fire behind the church a few weeks ago.

A man living in an apartment complex at 2424 N. Cherry Road lit a fire in his apartment on Oct. 6 when he was apparently disassembling a firework he had made, Clifford said. “The sprinkler system put the fire out,” he said. “He has been arrested for manufacturing fireworks.”

Someone also burned down a portable toilet at Plantes Ferry Park. It was reported by park staff the morning of Oct. 6.

And on Oct. 4, firefighters responded to a car on fire at I-90 and Broadway.

The department responded to 17 car accidents, including one at Trent Avenue and Progress Road on Tuesday that sent two teens to the hospital in serious condition, and a fatal accident at 26800 E. Wellesley Road in Otis Orchards at 1:15 a.m. on Wednesday. Three people were in one car that hit a power pole just off Wellesley.

“It ejected all three,” Clifford said. “When we got there two were unconscious and the other was walking around.” One man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The department’s technical rescue team was called when a man working on the roof of a business in the 11200 block of East Sprague Avenue had a heart attack. “You just can’t take somebody down a ladder,” Clifford said.

Crews performed CPR, but were unable to revive the man, Clifford said. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The police department called in the fire department at 11:46 p.m. on Oct. 6 after an angry customer poured some kind of acid all over the floor inside the Divine’s gas station at Pines Road and Mission Avenue. People were complaining of burning sensations in their eyes and throats and the building was evacuated, Clifford said.

The department’s hazardous materials team doesn’t have the equipment necessary to test unknown substances so they called the Spokane Fire Department’s hazardous materials team. They verified it was a type of acid and put down soda ash to neutralize it, Clifford said.

The department received another hazardous material call that was much less serious. Crews were called to the 10000 block of East Mission Avenue at 5:35 a.m. Oct. 10 for a reported natural gas odor. It turned out to be a skunk. “I guess it was still a natural gas odor, just in a different form,” Clifford said.

Crews also responded to 195 EMS calls during the week.