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Washington Voices

Thieves stealing fire hose nozzles

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews have been noticing something wrong during some recent annual inspections of Spokane Valley businesses: the fire department connection nozzles have been missing.

“Somebody’s been twisting those off and trying to take them in and recycle them,” assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford said about the brass nozzles, which firefighters connect hoses to during a fire. “They’re usually attached to a building or it’s a four inch pipe sticking up out of the ground that these are threaded on to.”

A couple of thefts were discovered by firefighters and at least one business has called in to report a theft as well, Clifford said. The thefts are under investigation and Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest. Tipsters can remain anonymous; call (800) 222-TIPS or visit www.crimestoppersinland

Among the 222 calls reported the week of May 16-22 was a fire in the 11700 block of East 36th Avenue just before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Firefighters found black smoke coming from the attic when they arrived. The fire was confined to a bathroom and the attic, but the house sustained about $50,000 in damage, Clifford said. The cause of the fire is believed to be an electrical problem with the bathroom fan, he said.

Crews were called to Kaiser Aluminum off Sullivan Road at 2:37 a.m. on Sunday. There was a hydraulic oil fire in one of the machines, Clifford said. “It didn’t cause much damage, but we were there for a while trying to get that put out,” he said.

A riding lawn mower caught fire in the 7700 block of East 18th Avenue on Sunday afternoon. A homeowner in the 19000 block of East Marietta Avenue was using a cutting saw to chop a car in half for salvage when the fuel line caught on fire on Monday shortly after noon. Firefighters reported a strong gasoline odor when they arrived, Clifford said.

Two illegal yard waste fires were reported during the week, as well as 184 emergency medical services calls. Crews responded to four car accidents.

Firefighters were asked to rescue a cat that had crawled inside a wall behind a water heater in the 4200 block of North McDonald Road the morning of May 18. The homeowner had been unable to get the cat out, Clifford said. “The guys cut a 10- by 10-inch square out of the wall and the cat came out,” he said.