The warmer temperatures seem to have led to an increase in fires caused by improperly disposed of cigarettes. The Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to three in the two weeks from June 5 to 18.
The first was reported just after 1:30 p.m. June 7 in the 9500 block of East Frederick Avenue. When firefighters arrived, the homeowner was using a garden hose to douse the side of the house, said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford.
A cigarette had been put in a flower pot, which caught fire. The flames spread to the house and firefighters found burn marks next to the back door, Clifford said.
A cigarette disposal container caught fire at Opportunity Manor at 12325 E. Main Ave. the evening of June 10. The small fire was quickly put out, Clifford said.
The third fire was reported in the 11300 block of East Seventh Avenue just after 3 p.m. on June 11. The resident reported putting out a cigarette in a cedar planter on the front porch. The planter caught fire.
Potting soil is flammable and cigarettes should not be put in it. Cigarettes should always be disposed of in a noncombustible container, Clifford said.
Other calls from June 5 to 18.
June 7: A homeowner using a flame to burn weeds accidentally caught a garage on fire in the 1300 block of North Lilly Road. There was $25,000 in damage to the garage and house.
June 8: A resident in the 300 block of South Idaho Road reported a horse trailer on fire just after 8 a.m. The residents had had a bonfire the night before that wasn’t put out properly. The fire spread to the horse trailer during the night.
An arson fire was reported in the 14300 block of East Longfellow Avenue. Someone set the exterior of a home on fire, causing $20,000 in damage.
June 9: A developmentally disabled teen started a brush fire with a lighter at 12000 E. Third Ave. just after 5 p.m.
A discarded cigarette started a fire in landscaping bark at 6630 E. Sprague Ave.
The Sheriff’s Office called for a ladder truck to allow several children to get off the roof of Bowdish Middle School.
June 16: An abandoned campfire was located in the Dishman Hills Natural Area. The campers had built a fire ring but left the fire unattended and it spread.
By the numbers: Firefighters responded to 509 calls from June 5-18, including 420 emergency medical services calls. The responses included several downed power lines, a few illegal yard waste fires, three water rescues in Spokane, a cooler filled with sewage, two water leaks in apartments, a broken irrigation pipe, two children accidentally locked inside cars and one child locked inside a house.