A road construction crew and neighbors saved the day for one homeowner recently whose deck caught on fire.
The fire was reported in the 500 block of South Shoreline Drive Tuesday evening. It began when a barbecue was left unattended on a wooden deck, said Spokane Valley Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford.
Neighbors noticed the fire and grabbed garden hoses to try to put it out, Clifford said. A water truck belonging to a road construction crew was nearby and the driver added his water to the firefighting effort. The fire caused $20,000 in damage.
The home has cedar siding and a cedar shake roof, Clifford said. “It really could have taken the house down,” he said. “A lot of good things happened for that homeowner.”
An arson fire heavily damaged a vacant house and garage in the 4300 block of East Sixth Avenue just after 12:30 a.m. on July 18. The fire was set in the detached garage and brisk winds spread the flames to the house, Clifford said.
Firefighters reported that the garage was fully involved when they arrived. In addition to evidence of arson, investigators also found evidence that squatters had been living in the house, Clifford said. Both buildings are a total loss.
Other calls from July 17-30
July 20: Someone lit a tractor tire on fire underneath the football field bleachers at University High School. The bleachers were not damaged.
July 22: A small amount of molten aluminum spilled at Kaiser Aluminum and started a small fire. There was little damage. A leaky fuel line caused a motorcycle to catch fire in the 5900 block of East Fourth Avenue.
July 23: An unattended camp fire started a small brush fire in the Dishman Hills Natural Area. Fireworks caused a small grass fire in the 7500 block of East Trent Avenue.
July 25: An unattended camp fire started a small brush fire in the Dishman Hills Natural Area.
July 26: A small grass fire was reported at Plantes Ferry Park. It is considered suspicious.
July 27: A cigarette improperly disposed of in potting soil started a small fire on a balcony at 615 S. Woodruff Road. Damage was limited to $250. An RV in the 12800 block of East 27th Avenue had a leaking propane stove.
By the numbers: Crews responded to 544 calls in the two weeks from July 17-30. Responses included 429 emergency medical services calls, 37 car accidents, six illegal yard-waste fires, three small grass fires likely caused by discarded cigarettes and seven recreational fires that are illegal under the burn ban currently in place. The department also assisted the city of Spokane with three fires, responded with Fire District 8 on a barn fire and three brush fires and sent crews to the Watermelon Hill fire south of Cheney.