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Fire roundup: After three kitchen fires in Spokane Valley, fire department warns ‘keep an eye on what you fry’

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 14, 2018

The Spokane Valley Fire Department this week responded to several calls including three cooking fires that occurred within a few days of each other.

Firefighters responded around 5:35 p.m. Feb. 6 to a cooking fire call from the Homestead Apartments on the 15700 block of East Fourth Avenue. When crews arrived on the scene, an occupant was hollering to crews from his balcony that the fire was out. The occupant then told crews he smothered a grease fire from his stove with a wet cloth and set the pan on the concrete inside a hallway.

A cooking fire occurred on Feb. 8 around 7:50 p.m. in a small home on the 11900 block of East Ninth Avenue. A female resident had fallen on the floor of her kitchen and was unable to get up and get out of the house. The resident reported seeing flames coming from the top of the stove. Fire crews entered through an unlocked door and found the woman on the kitchen floor with the fire completely extinguished.

On Feb. 11, around 7:45 a.m., fire crews responded to a kitchen fire at the Sullivan Park Assisted Living Community on the 400 block of South Adams Road. When crews arrived, they made contact with a resident who thought the fire was extinguished. Crews observed light smoke, a charred wall and ceiling next to a toaster. They unplugged the toaster and opened up the wall to ensure the fire was completely out.

When a grease fire occurs, it’s best to put it out using baking soda or by smothering the fire with a lid to cut off oxygen to the fire, said Melanie Rose, spokeswoman for the fire department.

Rose cautions to never leave food that’s cooking unattended.

“Keep an eye on what you fry,” she said.

Other calls Feb. 5-11

Feb. 5: Fire crews responded around 11:15 p.m. to a report of a water problem in an apartment on the 13300 block of East Mission Avenue. An elderly resident was unable to turn off leaking water in the apartment. When crews arrived, they discovered apartment maintenance had already shut the water off.

Feb. 6: Fire crews responded to a call about a vehicle fire around 10:20 a.m. on the 16400 block of East Sprague Avenue. When they arrived, the vehicle owner told them there was a small fire in the car’s radio console that burned the radio and some wires in the console. The vehicle owner was able to extinguish the fire, and the car was still drivable.

Feb. 9: Firefighters responded to a call at 3 p.m. to a report of an accident near the 25100 block of East Trent Avenue. A truck reportedly swerved to the left to avoid a braking car in front of him and struck another vehicle head on that contained three passengers all wearing seat belts. There was damage to the front end and side of the vehicle. The driver of the truck refused to be transported to the hospital. A 65-year-old passenger was transported to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.

Feb. 9: Firefighters responded to a call at 3:40 p.m. on the 13200 block of East Trent Avenue. When crews arrived on the scene, people were walking back into the house. When crews gained access to the home, they observed a burned electrical outlet with heat damage and both sides of the wall were warm around the electrical outlet. Crews opened up the wall and found melted wires. Fire crews notified the landlord and advised they have an electrician check the wiring. Crews observed in the back of the home that a fire had been extinguished in a cardboard box full of garbage and cigarette butts.

Feb. 10: Crews responded to a call regarding a diesel spill at 3:40 p.m. in the Lowe’s parking lot at 16205 E. Broadway Ave. When crews arrived, they observed a 30-foot circle with more than 40 gallons of diesel spilled on the ground. Crews assisted Lowe’s employees with cleaning up the spill using absorbent. The Lowe’s manager said he planned to sweep up the absorbent and dispose of it.

Feb. 11: Crews responded at 4:30 p.m. to an odor of paint thinner at the HuHot Mongolian Grill on the 11700 block of East Sprague Avenue. When firefighters arrived, they smelled the odor at the north end of the restaurant and observed two tenants at the end of building outside of an art painting business. Firefighters instructed the HuHot Mongolian Grill to contact their building representative for guidance.

By the numbers: For the week of Feb. 5-11, the department responded to 320 calls including 16 fire-related calls, 13 alarm system response calls, 270 emergency medical service calls, five hazmat calls, 13 motor vehicle accidents and three service calls.

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