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Chimney fires keeping Spokane Valley fire crews busy

Spokane Valley fire crews responded to another four chimney fires in the week ending Wednesday.

“I’m sure the reason why that’s an increase is because of the temperatures,” Clifford said. Homeowners should have their chimneys checked and cleaned once a year before they are used, Clifford said.

Someone called to report water shooting up into the air in the 11600 block of East Carlisle Avenue the afternoon of Dec. 7. Firefighters discovered a garden hose positioned near the top of a 70-foot-tall fir tree that was sending water cascading down the branches. Clifford said he believes someone was trying to create an ice sculpture, but crews turned off the water and advised the homeowner against turning it on again.

“Ice adds a lot of weight,” Clifford said. “If that did come down, it could go through the roof of a house.”

An unusual extrication call came in Sunday afternoon. A 65-year-old woman drove her car into the side of an apartment building at 24950 E. Hawkstone Loop in Liberty Lake. The car was far enough inside the building that firefighters could not use any doors or windows to get to the woman, Clifford said.

“All we did was push the vehicle back out of the building so we could access it,” he said. “If the car was stuck, we would have had to remove the roof of the vehicle to get her out.”

No one was in the apartment at the time and the woman was not seriously injured.

Other calls from Dec. 5-11.

Dec. 5: Employees at the Hennessey-Smith Funeral Home at 1315 N. Pines Road were placing a cardboard box containing human remains into the crematorium when the box caught on fire before it could be put inside. There was no damage.

Firefighters responded to a deer stuck on thin ice at Liberty Lake. The rescuers, wearing dry suits, broke through the inch-thick ice several times before rescuing the young doe.

A basement fire was reported at 16 N. Bowdish Road. A faulty furnace was to blame for the fire, which caused $50,000 in damage. No one was injured.

Dec. 6: An engine responded to Spokane County Fire District 9 to assist with a fire on Sanson Avenue. A small dryer fire was reported at the Hico Village at Sprague Avenue and Mullan Road.

Monday: Several people were reported trapped inside an elevator at Good Samaritan, 17117 E. Eighth Ave.

A natural gas leak was reported in the 10200 block of East Ninth Avenue.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 257 calls, 172 of which were for emergency medical services. Other calls included nine for broken sprinkler pipes, a burning forklift in the Spokane Valley Industrial Park, 13 car accidents, five broken residential water pipes and a child accidentally locked inside a vehicle.