September 15, 2012 in Washington Voices

Driver in Valley has near-miss with auto wheel

By The Spokesman-Review
Map of this story's location

A woman avoided disaster last Saturday when a tire and wheel came off a car on the freeway and nearly landed in her lap.

The woman was heading east, and the car that lost the tire was going west.

The tire went airborne, said Spokane Valley Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford.

“It landed in her passenger-side windshield,” Clifford said. “She was able to pull the car to the side of the road without colliding with anyone else.”

The woman had only minor injuries. Clifford said she was lucky the tire didn’t hit the driver’s side. “That probably would be pretty severe,” he said. “I’d hate to think what would happen.”

The accident was one of 225 calls the department received the week ending Wednesday. There were several fires in the mix as well. A mattress fire was reported at 817 N. Sargent Road at 10 a.m. Monday. It caused $15,000 in damage.

“The guy fell asleep smoking a cigarette,” Clifford said. “We did treat him on-scene and send him to the hospital with smoke inhalation and first-degree burns to his face.”

Two dogs and a cat were killed in a fire that broke out when no one was home in the 10600 block of East 10th Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.

“It was due to a laptop computer,” Clifford said. “We’ve had this happen before with laptop computers. The batteries somehow get overheated.”

The damage estimate is $80,000. The fire was contained to one room but there was extensive smoke damage to the rest of the house, Clifford said.

A small deck fire caused by a cigarette put in a potted plant was reported in the 23300 block of East Boone Avenue on Sunday. A 10-year-old playing with matches lit a small fire in a bathroom in a home in the 8100 block of East Appleway on Wednesday.

Oily rags are being blamed for one Dumpster fire during the week. Fire officials believe a second Dumpster fire was arson. The blaze behind Pasadena Park Church of the Nazarene on Upriver Drive destroyed the bin, but the building was not damaged, Clifford said.

Firefighters also responded to a brush fire behind the Walt Worthy building on Indiana Avenue east of Sullivan Road near midnight Wednesday. “It’s hard to say how that started,” Clifford said.

There were 176 EMS calls and several calls reporting natural gas odors or unusual odors.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email