January 28, 2014 in City

In brief: Seven killed by flu in Spokane County this season


The flu continues to take a deadly toll across Washington, killing 24 people, including seven from Spokane County.

This year’s flu is a subtype of the H1N1 “swine flu” virus. So far there have been 163 people hospitalized in Spokane County, according to the Spokane Regional Health District.

The numbers, severity and early onset of the flu virus has taxed the medical community and prompted Spokane city officials to partner with Walgreens to offer free vaccinations starting today at the Salvation Army Community Center at 223 E. Nora Ave.

Free vaccines also will be available at all area Walgreens from Friday through Feb. 7 during regular pharmacy hours while supplies last.

John Stucke

Neighbors heard blast before apartment fire

A man was taken to the hospital and several families were displaced after fire raced through a north Spokane apartment building Monday night.

Neighbors heard an explosion and then saw flames burning a unit on the second floor at 924 E. Cozza Drive.

Flames spread to the third floor and then into the attic of the large building, according to the Spokane Fire Department.

The man was treated for smoke inhalation as some 40 firefighters worked quickly to extinguish the flames.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Jonathan Brunt

Giffords to testify on Initiative-594

OLYMPIA – Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is coming to Olympia to testify in favor of an initiative to require universal background checks on all firearm sales in Washington state.

The Seattle Times reported Monday that Giffords, who survived being shot in the head at a public appearance in Tucson in 2011, will testify in support of Initiative 594 before the House Judiciary Committee today.

Associated Press

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