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Thursday, September 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fire roundup: Over 300 emergency medical service calls, 28 fire responses keep crews hopping

Spokane Valley Fire Department Administration Building  (The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Valley Fire Department Administration Building (The Spokesman-Review)
By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

The number of calls the Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to surged to 427 Aug. 3-9, almost 100 calls above the number received in a normal week. The uptick was driven in large part by a jump in emergency medical service calls to 335, plus 28 fire responses.

One of the more unusual calls combined a fire and possible illegal activity. Crews were called to the 7000 block of East Broadway Avenue at 11:54 a.m. on Aug. 3 on a report of a fire. They found a burning stump creating a column of smoke that was visible from Interstate 90.

Firefighters also noticed the home appeared to have been broken into, and there were signs that campers had been using the area, said fire department spokeswoman Julie Happy. Spokane Valley police were called to investigate a possible break-in.

Other calls Aug. 3-9

Aug. 3: Crews responded to the 600 block of South Sargent Road at 8:09 a.m., where there had been a brush fire the previous day. A portion of the fire apparently rekindled overnight. Crews wet down the area and turned it over to the Department of Natural Resources for continued monitoring. Traffic was partially blocked for a while in the 5800 block of East Rutter Avenue, after a dump truck snagged an overhead cable and pulled it down at 3:16 p.m. Avista was called to rehang the cable on the power pole. Someone called in a possible fire in a baseball field in the 12000 block of East 24th Avenue at 11:08 p.m. Crews found two women and several small children sitting in the middle of the field with several candles. They told firefighters they were celebrating the full moon.

Aug. 4: A burning mattress was reported alongside the road on Havana Street near the Spokane County Fairgrounds at 1:50 a.m. When crews arrived, the mattress had been almost entirely consumed, and the flames had spread into the nearby grass. The fire was put out. Smoke was reported in Dishman Hills Natural Area near Camp Caro at 10:21 a.m. Crews hiked in to the site of a previous fire on Aug. 2 and found a smoldering log. The log was extinguished. A driver reported seeing two kayakers in trouble on the Spokane River near Harvard Road at 7:25 p.m. It was quickly determined the kayakers were fine. One kayak had bottomed out, and the second kayaker stopped to help. A dumpster fire was reported in the 2400 block of North Wilbur Road at 10:36 p.m. Smoke and flames were visible when crews arrived to put the fire out.

Aug. 5: A caller reported at 1:25 a.m. several fire hydrants had been turned on in the 21500 block of East Rockrose Lane and were spraying water. Crews shut off the water to four hydrants and were able to place locks on some of the hydrants. A fire was reported at a business in the 4800 block of East Sprague Avenue at 6:13 p.m. Crews discovered smoke coming from a rooftop HVAC unit. A burned belt was discovered on the unit.

Aug. 7: A small, smoldering fire was reported in the 8800 block of East Mission Avenue at 8:38 a.m. The fire was in an area frequented by transients. Several liquor bottles and cigarette butts were found at the scene.

Aug. 9: A backyard fire was reported in the 12800 block of East Forrest Avenue just after midnight. The fire was in an approved container and was fueled by clean, dry firewood, but what would have been a legal fire is illegal under the current burn ban. The homeowners said they were unaware of the burn ban and agreed to put out the fire. A shop fire was reported in the area of Lincoln Road and Morris Lane at 9:03 p.m. Smoke was coming from the building, and firefighters gained access by cutting through a large roll up door. The fire was quickly put out.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 427 calls for service during the week of Aug. 3-9, including 335 calls for emergency medical services. Other calls include several false fire alarms triggered by burning food and construction work. They also responded to a downed power line and 27 car crashes.

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