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Fire roundup: Illegal trash fire destroys Spokane Valley home

UPDATED: Thu., June 29, 2017

An illegal outdoor trash fire spread to a home and burned it down in Spokane Valley earlier this month.

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews responded to 12105 E. 12th Ave. shortly before 2 a.m. on June 15. The house was fully on fire and flames could be seen from half a mile away, said fire department spokeswoman Melanie Rose.

“We didn’t think it was safe to go inside,” Rose said. “We battled it from the outside and kept it from spreading.”

The resident was sleeping outside and was not injured. Rose said there was a fire pit by the back porch that was used to burn trash. Additional trash was piled up between the fire pit and house. The fire spread from the fire pit to the trash pile and then to the home, Rose said.

“They piled up trash next to the house, lit it on fire and left it unattended,” Rose said.

Crews have responded to the house multiple times for illegal trash fires in the same fire pit, Rose said. Firefighters were at the home for the same reason only hours before the June 15 fire and put the fire out, she said.

Other calls from June 12-25

June 14: A mobile home fire was reported at 7404 E. Cataldo Ave. by neighbors who attempted to put the fire out with garden hoses. The residents came home and had to be physically restrained from going inside to save their pets. The cause was traced to an extension cord that became damaged by the leg of a dresser that was on top of the cord. Two dogs died in the fire.

June 16: A pole building used as a shop caught fire at 4620 N. Flora Road. It was fully involved when crews arrived. The building was completely gutted and it was unsafe for the fire investigator to enter. The cause is unknown. Damage is estimated at $100,000.

June 23: Lint in a dryer vent caught fire and spread to the attic of the home at 6909 E. Eighth Ave. around 4 a.m. The residents and 10 dogs, including five puppies, made it out of the home unharmed. Crews were called to Liberty Lake just after 11:30 a.m. on a report of two people who had fallen out of a canoe and were struggling to make it to shore. They were not wearing life jackets. A passing boat pulled the two out of the water just as fire crews arrived.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 698 calls in the two weeks from June 12-25, including 552 calls for emergency medical services. Other responses included 46 car crashes, one extrication and one 10-month-old who pushed the lock button on the car keys.

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