Arrow-right Camera
News >  Features >  Washington Voices

Fourth house fire was likely arson

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews responded to several fires April 11-17, including a suspected arson fire at a vacant house that has been the site of three other fires.

The fire at 806 N. Park Road was reported at 8:38 p.m. Wednesday. Crews found flames shooting 30 feet in the air when they arrived, said assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford. “I think the reason they were that high is the trees were overgrown,” he said. The flames coming out of the house were fed by the trees.

The fire was quickly put out, but the house appears to be a total loss this time, Clifford said. During previous visits firefighters found graffiti on the inside of the house. “You can tell people have been inside the home,” he said.

The first fire was reported March 27, 2012. Firefighters found a shed fully involved in fire when they arrived. It was a total loss. Fires were set in the home’s living room, on Sept. 20 and Sept. 23.

Anyone with information is asked to call the fire department at (509) 928-1700.

Crews also responded to a stovetop fire in the 21000 block of East Queen Avenue on Monday. The fire was put out quickly and damage was minimal, Clifford said. Also on Monday, crews responded to a mattress fire started by a 3-year-old playing with a lighter in the 4500 block of East 15th Avenue, Clifford said.

A fire in a burn barrel was reported under the Sullivan Bridge that crosses the Spokane River on Tuesday evening. Clifford said transients appeared to be responsible. “The fire was extinguished and they were asked to move along,” he said.

There were 10 car accidents during the week that sent five people to local hospitals. The most serious reported was a car that hit a tree on Spokane Bridge Road near the Idaho state line on Wednesday. Three people were taken to the hospital with injuries serious enough that MedStar was put on standby, Clifford said. Police also responded to the crash.

Crews responded to 184 emergency medical service calls among the 234 total calls received. A call reporting diesel fuel leaking from a car trunk was received from the 5600 block of East Sprague Avenue on Sunday. Clifford cautioned people to be careful when filling fuel containers and leaving them in parked cars. “Temperatures are going to rise and the containers are going to expand and start to leak,” he said.

Firefighters responded to a home in the 3800 block of South Bates Court on April 11 for what turned out to be a non-emergency. A resident there has a driveway that always floods when it rains, Clifford said. The woman said she had called the city of Spokane Valley and had not gotten any assistance with her problem, he said.

“She was upset and called the fire department two days later,” said Clifford. “We love to help people who are having an emergency, but this was not an emergency for the fire department.”