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Combustibles near furnace cause of blaze

A fire that started near a natural gas furnace consumed a home in the 11900 block of East 31st Avenue just before 5:30 a.m. on Monday.

“There was no heat shroud around the flame inside the furnace and then there were combustibles placed too close to it,” said Spokane Valley Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford. “It pretty much gutted the inside of the house.”

Damage to the house and its contents is estimated at $180,000, said Clifford. The occupants were outside the home when firefighters arrived and no one was injured.

A more unusual fire call was reported in the 24700 block of East Roxanne Avenue on March 23. The homeowner was using a burn barrel, which has been illegal since 1978, Clifford said. “It amazes me that people still have those,” he said.

Other calls from March 20 to April 2

March 20: Crews assisted a 17-year-old man down from the roof of Barker High School at 11:03 p.m. The teen told firefighters that someone threw his hat on the roof and once he went up to retrieve it he was unable to get back down.

March 22: Workers installing a rain gutter drove a screw through a natural gas line in the 14100 block of East Rich Avenue.

March 25: Crews were called to help clean up after a street sweeper with a broken hydraulic line in the 15100 block of East Wellesley Avenue.

A 14-year-old riding his bicycle was hit by a car in the 11100 block of East Sprague Avenue. He received minor injuries.

March 26: A pickup driver reported that his load of yard waste was burning on Interstate 90 just east of Argonne. The driver told firefighters he threw a lit cigarette out his window and it landed in the bed of his truck.

March 28: A one-car rollover accident was reported on I-90 just off the Argonne exit. Three people were treated at the scene and one of the three was taken to a hospital.

March 29: A mattress fire was contained to a bedroom in a home in the 7400 block of East Nora Avenue. One person was treated for smoke inhalation.

Wednesday: An indoor soccer facility in the 7300 block of East Nora called for assistance after a kicked soccer ball knocked a sprinkler head off and released water into the building.

By the numbers: Firefighters responded to 517 calls from March 20 to April 2, including 422 calls for emergency medical services. The calls included four illegal yard waste fires, two small fires caused by improperly disposed of smoking materials, 30 car accidents and one child accidentally locked inside a vehicle.