The Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to two large fires the week of Dec. 7-13, including one in which the resident died.
The first fire, in the 4200 block of North Best Road, was called in at 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 9. A large plume of smoke was visible as firefighters approached, and they found 30-foot-high flames when they arrived, said department spokeswoman Julie Happy. While firefighters were putting out the fire, the roof became unstable. Some areas were difficult to access, Happy said.
Seven people made it out of the home safely. The Red Cross was called to provide assistance. Fire crews stayed at the scene all night to make sure the fire didn’t flare up again. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The next morning, at 5:45 a.m., a fire was reported in a singlewide mobile home in the 900 block of South Nina Circle. Crews could see flames in four windows when they arrived.
The man who called 911 knew the resident and attempted to get inside, but was kept out by the intense smoke and flames, Happy said. Firefighters immediately searched the home for the elderly resident, who was known to them because of previous calls for medical help at the address. The man died in the fire, Happy said.
An investigation, which was assisted by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes division and the Sheriff’s Office forensics team, determined the fire was accidental and related to smoking. The resident was on oxygen, which fueled the fire and made it more intense, Happy said.
Other calls, Dec. 7-13
Dec. 7: An illegal campfire was reported in a vacant lot in the 9500 block of East First Avenue at 6:39 a.m. No one was in the area and the fire was put out. A caller reported at 2:23 p.m. that an alarm has been sounding inside the former Sears department store in the 14700 block of East Indiana Avenue for several days. Crews were unable to get inside the building and no fire was located.
A vehicle fire was reported in the 1100 block of South Courtney Lane at 9:44 a.m. The car was in flames when crews arrived. A bystander reported that a man in the car had said the car was having electrical issues, then ran away when it caught on fire.
A smoke detector activation resulted in a 911 call where South Bowdish Road ends at 5:40 p.m. A bad smell was coming from a baseboard heater in the bathroom that was on and had excessive temperatures despite the thermostat being turned off. The heater could not be turned off and the breaker was shut off.
Dec. 12: A car fire was reported in the area of Cataldo and Mallon avenues at 10:42 a.m. Crews found black smoke coming from under an SUV. The fire was under the vehicle near the spare tire. The cause of the fire is unknown. Crews freed an 8-month-old baby accidentally locked inside a car in the 17700 block of East Trent at 11:40 a.m. A fire alarm sounded in an apartment building in the 16100 block of East Broadway Avenue at 2:01 p.m. The resident said he saw smoke and flames coming from a living room electrical outlet and used a dry chemical extinguisher to put it out. The fire was out when crews arrived but the wall was 105 degrees. Scorch marks were visible by the outlet and the wiring was melted. The apartment manager was told to call an electrician.
Dec. 13: Crews rescued a dog accidentally locked inside a running car in the 12400 block of East Mansfield Avenue at 6:06 p.m.
By the numbers: Crews responded to 373 calls from Dec. 7-13, including 311 calls for emergency medical services. Other responses included 19 car crashes, a woman accidentally locked out of a home, a dumpster fire and a fire alarm triggered by spraying perfume too close to a smoke detector.
Nina Culver can be reached at email@example.com
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