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Wednesday, April 1, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Fire roundup: Chemicals blamed for fire in semitruck carrying load of garbage

Things may be changing rapidly for local residents, but crews from the Spokane Valley Fire Department are still responding to the usual calls for car crashes, gas leaks and fires.

Crews responded to a fire in a semitruck full of garbage in the 2400 block of North University Road shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday. They were able to put out the flames using water from an aerial ladder.

The fire was at the Sunshine Disposal and Recycling Facility, where there’s recently been an increase in calls regarding burning trailers full of trash, said department spokeswoman Julie Happy. A representative of the company said this is the time of year when people are doing spring cleaning and they often throw out chemicals, Happy said. When hazardous materials get compressed, they can cause a fire, she said.

Another fire hazard is lithium batteries thrown out in the trash. They need to be disposed of separately. Sunshine takes the batteries, but they should not be placed in the trash, Happy said.

Other calls from March 16-22

March 16: An audible alarm was reported at Players and Spectators, 12828 E. Sprague Ave., just before 1 a.m. Firefighters checked the building and found a small water leak. A two-car crash was reported at Trent and Coleman Road just after 9 a.m. The driver of one vehicle was pinned inside her car and crews had to cut off the roof and door of the vehicle and remove the steering wheel to remove her. She was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for treatment.

March 17: A caller reported hearing a car crash in the area of 24th and 25th avenues just after 5 a.m. A car had crashed into a garage, which was smoking. A power pole was severed, and power lines were on the ground. The driver was treated for a head injury. Flooding was reported at a hotel in the area of Euclid Avenue and Kiernan Road just after 2:30 p.m. and crews discovered the sprinkler system was malfunctioning. The water was turned off and the hotel was told to repair the system. A person called 911 from the area of Eden Road and Long Road shortly after 4 p.m. to report that he had “nicked” a natural gas line with a mini excavator. Two homes were evacuated and Avista responded.

March 18: A car fire was reported in the 15000 block of East 16th Avenue just before 6:30 a.m. A woman said she was dropping her child off at day care when she noticed flames coming from the passenger side wheel well. She borrowed a fire extinguisher from a business and put the flames out. Crews verified that the fire was out. Smoke was reported in the 12000 block of East Main Avenue shortly before 1:30 p.m. Crews discovered a recreational fire in a backyard fire pit. The fire complied with burning regulations. A fire was reported at Kaiser Aluminum just before 2 p.m. When crews arrived, they discovered that employees had put out the small fire. A kitchen fire was reported in the area of Bowdish Road and Bates Drive at 3: 41 p.m. The fire was out when crews arrived. Damage was minimal and everyone evacuated safely.

March 19: A caller reported seeing a shed and trees on fire in the area of Skyview Avenue and 29th Avenue shortly after 2 a.m. Crews were able to stop the fire from spreading to a nearby home and evacuated the residents, one of whom is disabled. The strong odor of natural gas was reported in a mobile home in the area of Bell Street and Tschirley Road shortly after 3:30 a.m. Firefighters verified the odor and turned off the gas furnace and the gas supply to the house. Avista responded to the scene. A shed fire was reported in the area of Molter Road and Stevenson Road at 8 p.m. The fire was contained to the storage shed.

By the numbers: Firefighters responded to 324 calls from March 16-22, including 245 responses for emergency medical services. Other responses included several illegal yard waste fires, a woman burning a carpet in her backyard, flooding in an apartment, an apartment building with a flipped electrical breaker than knocked out power, gasoline leaking from the gas tank of a U-Haul truck and an elderly woman having an issue with her thermostat.

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