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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fire roundup: Happy ending for Spokane Valley responders

Many times when firefighters and paramedics work to revive a patient having a heart attack, they don’t know if the patient survived or not. But crews with the Spokane Valley Fire Department found out about a happy ending when a recent patient, a young father to two young children, showed up this week with a plate of cookies and a message of gratitude.

Department spokeswoman Julie Happy said Jared Burnham was outside teaching his young son how to ride a bike on April 18 when he had a heart attack. A neighbor called 911 and started CPR, which Valley Fire crews from Station 7 and Station 10 continued when they arrived. He was taken to the hospital for further treatment.

On Saturday, Burnham stopped by both stations to deliver cookies. “We came back from a call and found Jared and his 4-year-old son out front of our station, both wearing masks,” said firefighter Shawn Pichette, who works at Station 7. “He shared his story with us. He says he is a little sore, but every day he is feeling better. He is still very emotional and thankful to be alive. He wants everyone to take a CPR class to be able to save others like him.”

It turns out that though Burnham is young, he had a 90% blockage on the left side of his heart. He had stents put in and spent two days in the hospital before he was released.

In other news, the Spokane Valley Fire Department recently received a $2,500 grant from Country Financial to pay for the purchase of UV cleaners. The cleaners are used to clean and disinfect reusable EMS supplies instead of using harsh chemicals as the department does now. The sanitizing process is quick and only takes five minutes.

UV light cleaners are also used in hospitals and health care facilities to disinfect equipment and entire rooms.

Division Chief Mike Charter said the UV cleaners are a big improvement. “The UV light technology is able to kill 99% of the bacteria,” he said.

The grant is part of Country Financial’s Helping Heroes initiative.

Other calls from April 20-26

April 20: A caller reported her son hit a natural gas meter while backing his car out of the driveway in the area of Progress and Burns roads just after midnight. The meter was leaking gas. Nearby homes were evacuated, and Avista was called to shut off the gas. Someone called to report what they believed was a small warming fire near the water tower in the 12000 block of East Mansfield Avenue at 10:46 a.m. Crews found a small fire inside a fire ring with no people in the area. They put out the fire. A vehicle fire was reported in the 11000 block of East Trent Avenue at 2:13 p.m. Crews found a small ice cream truck with an engine compartment fire. Damage was limited to the engine compartment, and the ice cream was saved.

April 22: An elderly man in the 14000 block of East Euclid avenue called just after 11:30 a.m. to report his carbon dioxide detector was going off and there appeared to be natural gas in his basement. Crews detected gas in the basement, and Avista was called. Crews performed a technical rescue in the Dishman Hills Conservation Area shortly after noon for an elementary school-age child who had fallen 40 feet down a cliff near the Pond Loop Trail. He had been hiking with his mother. Firefighters put him on a backboard and pulled him up the cliff, where he was loaded into a special off-road stokes basket to be wheeled out to the ambulance. A person called in a burning bird’s nest on top of a power pole in the 18000 block of East Euclid just after 5:30 p.m. Crews put the fire out and notified Avista about the issue. A fire was reported at 8019 E. Knox Ave. just before 10 p.m. Firefighters arrived to find smoke coming from the attic vents, and fire in the bathroom ceiling. Damage was limited to the bathroom and the attic above it. Two adults and three dogs were able to get out of the home safely and were assisted by the Red Cross. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

April 23: A possible illegal fire was reported in the area of Mullan Road and Knox Avenue just before noon. Firefighters found a burning 5-foot by 5-foot pile of burning leaves, green branches and stumps. The homeowner, who said they had been burning yard waste for years, was notified that it is illegal. The fire was put out. A shed fire was reported in the area of Moore and Conklin at 7:10 p.m. The home at the address is vacant and neighbors reported seeing a man in a black hoodie around the shed right before the fire. Another possible illegal fire was reported in the 3600 block of South Fox Street at 7:25 p.m. The homeowner was burning old decking material, which is illegal.

April 24: An illegal fire was reported in the 13000 block of East Ninth Avenue just before 12:30 p.m. The homeowner was burning green yard waste in a fire that was putting out a large column of smoke. He was told the fire was illegal, and the fire was put out.

April 25: Someone reported smelling natural gas at the Broadway Diner at 10 a.m. Crews did not detect any natural gas on their monitors. They did find a plastic garbage bag labeled “dirty fuel rags” that was full of rags and had a strong smell. The bag was removed from the building and staff was informed of the proper way to dispose of the rags. A rollover accident was reported in the 18000 block of South Chapman Road at 7:46 p.m. Crews worked to treat the passengers.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 318 calls in the week from April 20-26, including 246 calls for emergency medical services. Responses also included 10 car crashes, several calls for beeping carbon dioxide detectors that needed to be replaced, a fire alarm triggered by steam from the shower and a hazardous material call for a natural gas leak that turned out to be spilled gasoline.

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