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Citizen action aides fire crews

It was garden hoses to the rescue in two fire calls received by the Spokane Valley Fire Department the week of June 20-26.

An elderly couple spotted smoke coming from an old trailer they were using for storage in the 9500 block of East Fourth Avenue on Wednesday morning. The man called 911 while his wife grabbed a garden hose and trained it on the fire, said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford. The woman “dang near put the fire out” before firefighters arrived, Clifford said.

The damage to the trailer is estimated at $5,000. The fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring, Clifford said. “It was definitely not approved or installed in the proper way,” he said.

Some passers-by noticed a fire in the 4700 block of East Third Avenue on Wednesday afternoon and used a garden hose to dampen the flames until firefighters arrived, Clifford said. “One 14-year-old boy admitted playing with a road flare that started some garbage on fire and spread to the house and melted the siding on a neighbor’s house,” Clifford said.

Fire investigators are searching for another person of interest in the fire, he said. No estimate of damage is available yet.

A pile of rags spontaneously burst into flames in the 1300 block of North Bannen Road on Sunday evening. The homeowner had been doing a varnishing project and left the rags in a pile in a utility trailer, Clifford said. It is recommended that people soak their rags in water after working with varnish or any other highly flammable product, he said.

There were 188 emergency medical services calls among the 246 calls the department responded to during the week. Eighteen car accidents were reported. A hazardous materials call came in for the 2100 block of North Eden Road just before midnight Sunday when someone reported an unusual odor. “Nothing was found but the odor of a skunk,” Clifford said.

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