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In brief: Chemical experiment starts fire at WSU lab

Sat., Feb. 2, 2013, midnight

A laboratory experiment at Washington State University went awry Friday, igniting a chemical fire and severely burning a student.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the 2:22 p.m. blaze on the fifth floor of Fulmer Hall, the university’s chemistry building, according to the Pullman Fire Department. Witnesses told investigators that students were conducting experiments with hexane, a hydrocarbon found in gasoline.

A female student fell backward when the fire erupted but didn’t appear to have any serious injuries, although she is pregnant and told firefighters she would see her doctor. A male student was taken to Pullman Regional Hospital with third-degree burns to his left leg.

The students used a fire extinguisher, but it didn’t extinguish the flames. They also tried to close the vent hood, but it wouldn’t close all the way.

WSU police will investigate further. The amount of damage is unknown.

The building was evacuated but reopened about 40 minutes later when firefighters doused the blaze.

Four arrested in raid yielding drugs, gun

Spokane police raided an alleged drug house Thursday in northwest Spokane.

Detectives found cash, heroin, crack cocaine, a handgun and ammunition at 1912 W. Grace Ave. when they served a search warrant there, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

Police had received information that a wanted felon, 34-year-old Savaad C. Alex, may have been frequenting the residence, DeRuwe said. After detectives saw him there, they put the house under surveillance and got the search warrant.

Alex was taken into custody on a Department of Corrections warrant and for unlawful possession of a firearm.

He has 18 prior felony convictions, DeRuwe said.

Also arrested were Molly E. McBride, 38, for possession of cocaine; Lonnie R. Goin, 65, for possession of cocaine and possession with intent to deliver heroin; and William J. Higgins, 40, for possession of heroin.

Shooting suspect faces added charge

Jeremy McVicker faces a new charge in the Tuesday morning shooting death of 19-year-old Dylan Heinen.

Prosecutors added one count of tampering with physical evidence, a misdemeanor. McVicker, 19, already faces first-degree manslaughter for allegedly shooting Heinen in the head by accident before attempting to cover up the crime by dismembering the body with a hatchet in McVicker’s home, 4818 N. Lincoln St.

He appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on the added charge Friday. The judge kept his bond at $1 million.

Suspect in arson held on $10,000 bond

A 48-year-old woman accused of setting fire to her neighbor’s detached garage was ordered held Friday at Spokane County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bond.

Lorrie Stewart is charged with first-degree arson in connection with an Aug. 20 fire at 633 S. Greene St. that damaged two garages and a fence. Three children and two adults were in the home at the time. Authorities believe it was part of an ongoing neighborhood dispute.

Witnesses told police they saw Stewart in the area when the fire started. Police retrieved a bag containing an ignitable liquid, matches and a paper towel from a garbage can at the residence, and DNA on the paper towel allegedly came back as a match for Stewart.


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