August 30, 2014 in Washington Voices

Water heater, fire pit cause fires in Spokane Valley

By The Spokesman-Review

A fire pit and a malfunctioning water heater were the culprits in two of the fires put out by Spokane Valley Fire Department crews for the week ending Aug. 27.

Both fires were reported early in the morning on Aug. 21. Crews responded to the 11200 block of East 23rd Avenue just before 5 a.m. An attic fire at the home was caused by a hot water heater vent pipe, said Fire Marshal Kevin Miller.

“It was malfunctioning and making the exhaust pipe very, very hot,” Miller said. “It ended up catching the attic on fire.”

Two hours later crews were called to a deck fire in the 200 block of North St. Charles. The residents left hot coals in a fire pit built into the deck. The recreational fire was illegal under the current burn ban and was left unattended, Miller said. “It wasn’t an approved device during the burn ban,” he said. “Even if it’s the right time of year to be doing that, you can’t leave them unattended.”

Other calls from Aug. 21-27

Aug. 21: A resident in the 1100 block of South Joyce Lane reported a strange odor. Crews investigated and determined that another resident in the home was trying out a new incense.

Aug. 22: A fire started in the crawl space under a home in the 7300 block of East Fourth Avenue. The flames burned the front entry area of the home.

A lightning strike started a small brush fire in the Dishman-Hills Natural Area.

Aug. 25: A van ran over a cable box near Sprague Avenue and Conklin Road and left the scene. A spark from the accident started a small brush fire.

Aug. 26: Oily rags left in a pile spontaneously combusted and started a garage fire in the 15000 block of East Broad Avenue.

Aug. 27: A failed vent fan started a fire in a trailer that housed a medical marijuana grow in the 21600 block of East Wellesley Avenue. The contents of the trailer were destroyed.

A small brush fire was reported along the railroad tracks near Barker Road.

By the numbers: Firefighters responded to 252 calls from Aug. 21-27, including 187 emergency medical service calls. The calls included 19 car accidents, a large brush fire in Spokane County Fire District 4 and a car crash in Spokane County Fire District 8.

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