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Duplex, semitruck fires among Valley fire calls

The Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to several major calls the week of April 18-24, including a house fire and a semitruck fire.

Half of a vacant duplex at 8823 E. Broadway Ave. burned just after 3 a.m. on April 20. The fire, which investigators consider suspicious, burned the west half. “This fire cooked the whole roof off of it,” said assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford. “The structure is going to be a total loss.”

The east half of the duplex burned last year.

Both sides of the duplex were vacant and the power was off – one reason why the fire is considered suspicious, Clifford said. “There was really no way to start anything,” he said.

A small, single-family home on the property also burned on Jan. 15.

Smokers were responsible for two small fires, one caused by a cigarette, the other by a pipe dumped out a bedroom window. Crews responded to five illegal yard waste fires. Two suspicious fires were reported in front of the old Yoke’s at 15111 E. Sprague Ave. on Sunday. They were reported at 8:51 a.m. and 11:24 a.m. “Somebody lit the bark on fire out by the street,” Clifford said.

Someone apparently piled up brush and tires in a vacant field in the 500 block of South Newer Road on Sunday and lit it on fire. Crews responded to a reported vehicle fire at 1921 N. Park Road at 12:30 p.m. on April 20 and found two burning semitrucks and burning fuel spreading on the ground.

The electrical fire appears to have started in the battery area of one truck and spread to a second truck parked next to it. One of the fuel tanks apparently ruptured. “It sounds like one of the seams burst and burning diesel fuel was on the ground,” Clifford said.

The semis and their trailers were a total loss and the damage is estimated at $300,000, Clifford said.

Numerous crews responded to a rollover accident near the eastbound Interstate 90 off ramp at Pines Road on Wednesday afternoon. The Washington State Patrol reported that the driver took the offramp and apparently fell asleep, driving off the embankment and rolling several times. The driver was trapped inside.

“It looks like they cut a rear door off,” Clifford said. “I don’t know how many times the car rolled. I would guess at least three or four times based on the distance.”

The two adults and 5-year-old girl inside were not seriously injured, he said. A dog was killed.

There was a happy note among the calls. A city of Spokane firefighter pulled into the Sullivan Fire Station just before 7:30 p.m. on April 19 with his wife, who was in labor. The two had been on their way to a birthing center in North Idaho when they realized they were not going to make it. They called 911 and dispatchers told firefighters to expect the couple at the station, Clifford said.

“The dad actually delivered the baby at 7:53 p.m.,” Clifford said. “That is a pretty cool experience for all those guys.”

That call was one of 202 emergency medical services calls that crews responded to during the week. There were a total of 253 calls for help received.