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Chickens fly the coop; escape blaze unharmed

Sat., Feb. 15, 2014

A flock of chickens escaped a fire in their chicken coop unscathed when it burned down in the 11600 block of East Maxwell on Wednesday.

“They had an escape plan,” said Spokane Valley Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford. “They were wandering in the yard when fire crews got there.”

The fire was caused by combustibles placed too close to a heat lamp, Clifford said.

Damage from a garage fire in the 13700 block of East Valleyway will be in the tens of thousands of dollars, Clifford said. The fire was called in by a neighbor shortly after 3 a.m. on Feb. 11. A young couple and their dog were able to escape unharmed, Clifford said.

The garage was a total loss and two cars parked inside were consumed. The fire also burned through an exterior wall into the kitchen.

The cause of the fire is undetermined, Clifford said. “Too many things are damaged,” he said. “You can’t tell what the cause was.”

The rental home was insured and the couple living there had renters insurance, Clifford said.

Other calls from Feb. 6-12:

Feb. 7: Crews assisted Spokane County Fire District 9 with a cooking fire in the 4900 block of North Argonne Road.

Feb. 10: A fire in a home in the 500 block of North Adams Road was contained to a single room but caused $40,000 in damage. It started when combustibles placed too close to a pellet stove caught fire.

Feb. 11: A garage fire was reported in the 14800 block of East 32nd Avenue. Damage was mostly confined to a breezeway between the house and the garage and is estimated at $20,000.

By the numbers: Firefighters responded to 302 calls, including 229 emergency medical services calls. The calls included two chimney fires, two reports of natural gas odors, 19 car accidents and several broken water lines or burst pipes.

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