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Firefighters treating lots of stings at the fair

Anyone heading to the Spokane County Interstate Fair this weekend can expect to see first aid tents near the front and rear gates manned by Spokane Valley Fire Department crews.

Firefighters have been there all week and are seeing a lot of sprains and blisters and the occasional heat-related issue, said assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford. It’s also a big year for bee stings – crews had eight reported in one four-hour stretch on Wednesday, Clifford said.

Other than their work at the fair, crews had a busy but relatively uneventful week, responding to 247 calls from Sept. 5-11. The most significant fire reported was in a detached garage at a vacant house in the 10700 block of East 10th Avenue on Sept. 5. “It apparently had been struck by lightning,” Clifford said.

The garage was heavily damaged but no dollar estimate is available yet, Clifford said.

There were 23 car accidents reported, the most serious of which involved a train at Trent Avenue and Park Road just after 6 p.m. on Sept. 6. Witnesses said a woman drove her car through the crossing arms and stopped on the train tracks in front of an oncoming train, Clifford said.

The car was rolled and then pushed out of the way by the force of the train, Clifford said. “She was banged up in the car,” he said. “Thank God the train was only going about 25 miles an hour.”

Crews also responded to five illegal trash fires and one backyard recreational fire that was illegal because of the burn ban.

Someone reported seeing a person pouring paint thinner on the ground in the 7900 block of East Harrington Avenue on Sunday evening. “When we responded there, nobody knew anything about it,” Clifford said.

Firefighters could smell the odor of paint thinner but could not determine who might have poured any on the ground, Clifford said.