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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Cars in flames draw first responders

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

When most people think about fires put out by the fire department, house, apartment or wildland fires come to mind. But crews with the Spokane Valley Fire Department are regularly called on to put out vehicle fires.

A call at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 25 reported a car on fire on eastbound Interstate 90 near the Barker Road exit. The crew found a car in the median with smoke coming from the engine.

As it turned out, a police officer had been driving behind the vehicle when it caught fire. After the driver pulled over, the officer used his dry chemical extinguisher to put out the flames. The fire department crew doused the engine with water to make sure it was out.

Occupants of the car said they had just bought the car at an auction and were driving it home.

A second, more active car fire was reported in the 600 block of North Marguerite Road at 1:44 p.m. Sunday. A car was fully engulfed and flames began to spread to a nearby power pole, a pile of garbage and an RV.

The car fire was put out and so was the fire in what was described as an “extensive” pile of garbage. The RV did not burn, but one of the windows fell out when the rubber seal melted.

More calls Nov. 23-29Nov. 23: An apartment resident in the area of Cherry Lane and Mansfield Avenue reported water dripping from a ceiling fan at 7:13 p.m. The resident was told to contact the maintenance department. Burned food in a pan caused a fire alarm to sound in the 1400 block of North Bowman Road at 8:57 p.m. There was no fire.

Nov. 24: A road-blocking car crash was reported at Argonne Road and Mission Avenue at 1:21 p.m. A car hitting a pedestrian was reported in the area of McKinnon and Fourth Avenue at 1:53 p.m. Fourth was shut down for a time. An apartment manager in the area of Vercler Road and Willow Crest Lane called firefighters at 8:55 p.m. to check on a kitchen fire from the night before that had been extinguished by the residents and not reported to 911. The ceiling and cabinets were covered in soot, but the fire was out. A possible gas leak was reported at the Liberty Lake Starbucks at 3:25 p.m. No odor was detected, but Avista was called to evaluate.

Nov. 25: A person went to Station 4 at 3:30 p.m. and reported a damaged driveway gate in the 19200 block of East Euclid Avenue. The resident was afraid an estranged family member may have caused the damage and had called the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. A crew was able to open the gate and a sheriff’s deputy arrived to assist. A possible fire was reported in an apartment near 32nd Avenue and Lenora Drive at 4:32 p.m. Light smoke was found inside the apartment and heat-sensing equipment located a spot inside an old console radio. The inside was blackened, and the unit had a “tattered” cord.

Nov. 27: A fire was reported at Spokane Valley Transfer Station on Sullivan Road at 2:22 p.m. When crews arrived, they found a wet pile of trash with a few wisps of smoke coming from it. An employee stated smoke was seen billowing from the compactor and they pushed the burning trash into a truck to get it out of the building. The trash was then dumped on the ground and wet down by employees before crews arrived.

Nov. 28: An illegal fire was reported in the 12000 block of East Railroad Circle. The homeowner was burning leaves in the backyard. The homeowner refused to speak to firefighters, but dumped water on the fire to put it out.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 349 calls the week of Nov. 23-29, including 275 for emergency medical services. Other calls included 19 car crashes, a fire alarm triggered by sauna steam and a reported fire that turned out to be Christmas decorations.

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