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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Valley Fire roundup: Family pet dies in house flames; burn barrel suspected in blaze at Barker Road gas station

Heavy smoke rises from a fire reported on the back side of a Chevron gas station at 1220 N. Barker Road at 5:31 a.m. Sunday, May 24, 2020. (Spokane Valley Fire Department website)
Heavy smoke rises from a fire reported on the back side of a Chevron gas station at 1220 N. Barker Road at 5:31 a.m. Sunday, May 24, 2020. (Spokane Valley Fire Department website)

The Spokane Valley Fire Department had several larger fires to deal with the week of May 18-24, one of which resulted in the death of a family’s dog. No people were injured in the fires.

The dog died in a fire that started in a shop and spread to an RV and a home at 1:25 a.m. on May 23 in the 11000 block of East 25th Avenue. The shop and RV were both on fire when firefighters arrived and the flames were spreading to the attic of the home, said department spokeswoman Julie Happy.

A resident of the home said he had been working in the shop and had a wood stove burning there before going to bed at 10 p.m. The shop appeared to be the starting point of the fire, which is under investigation, Happy said.

The Red Cross was called to assist the residents because the home is unlivable. The family dog was unable to make it out of the home and died.

A fire was reported on the back side of the Chevron gas station at 1220 N. Barker Road at 5:31 a.m. on May 24. When firefighters arrived they found fire in the wall, attic and roof on the east side of the building. They were assisted by crews from Spokane County Fire District 8.

The roof was sagging and collapsed while firefighting efforts were underway, Happy said. No firefighters were inside the building at the time, and no one was injured. An employee who was inside when the fire started was able to escape unharmed. The fire is believed to have been caused by a fire in a burn barrel next to the building that spread.

Other calls from May 18-24

May 18: Callers reported that a car went off the road, through a fence and appeared to be smoking at 12:11 a.m. near the eastbound Interstate 90 Evergreen off-ramp. One caller reported that someone had thrown a bottle at her vehicle before they crashed. Four ambulances were called to transport people to hospitals. The crash is under investigation by the Washington State Patrol. Crews responded to the 7-Eleven on North Park Road just before 8:30 a.m. to find two police officers questioning a man not wearing pants. His pants had been set on fire and were smoldering on the ground. The man identified himself as a “dead man walking” and was uncooperative. Firefighters put out his pants fire.

May 20: A fire was reported at Pyrotek in Spokane Valley Industrial Park just before 1:30 p.m. An employee said there was a fire inside a kiln when a power failure stopped the fan. Employees used fire extinguishers to put out the fire before crews arrived. A fire was reported inside the grease trap of a barbecue in the area of Pines Road and Wilbur Road at 2:25 p.m. The resident unhooked the propane and shut the barbecue, and the fire was out when crews arrived.

May 22: A possible illegal fire was reported coming from underneath the Argonne Bridge just before 2:45 p.m. Crews found a burning bedroll and put the fire out. A stove fire was reported in the area of Cherry Street and Houk Road just before 7:30 a.m. The apartment resident reported that she was baking a pizza in the oven when a plastic cutting board stored in the bottom storage drawer of the stove melted and started to smoke. She removed the cutting board and the fire was out when crews arrived.

By the numbers: Firefighters responded to 354 calls during the week of May 18-24, including 285 calls for emergency medical services. Other calls included several false fire alarms at commercial buildings, a significant water leak coming from the ground in the 800 block of North Sargent Road, a car accident involving a woman in labor, a broken sprinkler head caused by a person trying to hang a plant from it, and an exploding solar panel meter box.

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