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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Valley Fire roundup: Apartment residents light fireplaces with flues closed

The week of March 23 to 29 was a busy one as usual for Spokane Valley Fire Department crews, and this week crews seemed to have a large number of calls for illegal burning. In each case the homeowners were educated about what type of burning is and is not allowed.

A man was found burning yard waste in his backyard in the 4000 block of North Locust Road the evening of March 24. The fire was put out. Crews responded to what they thought was a structure fire the next day and found a person burning yard waste in an open field. They were also burning green branches, which produced a lot of smoke.

A small fire was reported near the base of a water tower in the 11000 block of East Mansfield Avenue around 8:30 p.m. March 25. Crews found a homeless person burning garbage to stay warm. The person was advised they were in a no-burn area.

A homeowner in the 700 block of North Best Road was found burning tree limbs and dimensional lumber in a fire in his backyard shortly after 1:30 p.m. March 26. Crews helped him put the fire out. Flames in the backyard of a home in the 5000 block of North Idaho Road just after 8:30 p.m. March 25 turned out to be a homeowner burning an old chicken coop. The homeowner put out the fire.

Other calls March 23-29

March 23: A resident in the areas of East 32nd Avenue reported his apartment’s carbon monoxide detector going off around 6:15 p.m. He said he had a fire earlier and had closed the chimney flue too soon. The apartment was ventilated until the levels of carbon monoxide dropped. A call about a chimney fire in the area of 32nd and 33rd avenues turned out to be an apartment resident who had lit a fire in the fireplace without opening the chimney flue first, filling the apartment with smoke.

March 24: A power line problem was reported in the area of Spokane Valley Industrial Park about 8 p.m. A bystander reported to crews that there had been a small vegetation fire at the base of a power pole he had put out. Crews put more water on the area to ensure the fire was out and Avista was called. A caller in the 19000 block of East Cane Circle reported at 10:10 p.m. that a 12-year-old was locked inside her bedroom after her door knob broke. A crew was able to use pliers to open the door. A caller reported a dog had a chain wrapped around its neck in the 10000 block of East Empire Way and was choking. A sheriff’s deputy on scene did not have the equipment needed to cut the chain. Firefighters were able to free the dog.

March 26: A car crashed into the yard on the east side of Ella Street on the north side of railroad tracks just before 3 p.m. A caller reported a male driver appeared to be drunk, and his vehicle crashed through a fence and into a truck and a van parked in the driveway. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash.

March 27: A fire was reported in the 12000 block of East Mission Avenue shortly before 1 p.m. When crews arrived, they were told someone had lit some paper towels on fire in a metal trash can but that the fire was out. There was no damage. A small fire was reported in a fenced area at Fox Road and Bowdish Road just before 8 p.m. Crews could not get through or over the high, locked fence but were still able to put water on what looked like a small warming fire until it was out.

March 28: It was reported a person in a wheelchair had been hit by a car while attempting to cross the street in the area of Mission Avenue and Pierce Road. The person was treated and the incident is under investigation by the sheriff’s office.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 316 calls for service, including 256 for emergency medical services. Other responses included six calls for chirping carbon monoxide detectors that were expired and needed to be replaced, a vehicle fire and one call from the Sheriff’s Office requesting a ladder so they could apprehend a suspect who had taken refuge on a roof.

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