April 12, 2014 in Washington Voices

Duplex fire caused by discarded cigarette

By The Spokesman-Review

A duplex in the 14500 block of East Sixth Avenue burned Tuesday in a fire started by a improperly disposed of cigarette. A woman and her 8-year-old son escaped unharmed. Winds may have helped the fire spread through the attic.
(Full-size photo)

A discarded cigarette started a fire that roared through a duplex in the 14500 block of East Sixth Avenue Tuesday. The woman living there with her 8-year-old son woke up around 10 p.m. to the sound of breaking glass, said Spokane Valley Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford.

The fire started on the back deck and spread up the wall into the attic, Clifford said. The woman saw flames coming in through her glass slider door when she went to check on the noise, Clifford said. “As it really got ripping and going the heat busted the glass in the slider,” he said.

The wind that night may have helped spread the flames through the attic, Clifford said.

No one was injured. The other half of the duplex is vacant. The damage is estimated at $60,000. The home was insured, but the tenant did not have renters insurance.

Other calls from April 3-9

April 3: A woman in the 5300 block of North Linden Road trying to bake something in the oven called for help when she realized she had set the oven on clean and couldn’t turn it off. Firefighters turned off the breakers to stop the cycle. Firefighters cut a 16-year-old boy out of an overturned truck after he crashed near Lily Road and Broadway Avenue. The teen allegedly stole the truck and lost control when the road curved. An 8-year-old girl went up a tree in the 4400 block of East Fifth Avenue to save a cat and was unable to get down. Firefighters provided her a ladder.

April 5: A caller in the 4500 block of East Fifth Avenue reported that a neighbor in the 4600 block had an illegal yard waste fire. When crews arrived they discovered that the complaining caller also had an illegal yard waste fire. Someone drove their car off Barker Road just south of Trent Avenue, went through a fence around an Avista substation and crashed their car before fleeing. The 2007 Land Rover with Kootenai County plates was completely destroyed in a fire. The incident is under investigation. A 4-year-old boy got his finger stuck in a bath tub drain in the 9700 block of East Eighth Avenue. Firefighters treated a small cut on his finger with a bandage and a stuffed animal.

April 8: A man with a burning road flare was reported along Appleway Avenue in Liberty Lake.

By the numbers: Firefighters responded to 241 calls during the week, including 195 for emergency medical services. The calls included six outdoor fires that turned out to be legal recreational fires, two children accidentally locked inside vehicles and seven vehicle accidents.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email