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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Vehicle fires looked accidental except one

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

It was a week of vehicle fires in the Spokane Valley area , with Spokane Valley Fire Department Crews responding to four such fires the week of March 26 to April 2.

On March 29, a caller reported an engine fire in a truck with a camper at the Flying J truck stop in the area of East Broadway Avenue and North Thierman Road at 11:52 p.m. The truck was not located near the gas pumps, and people were attempting to put the fire out before crews arrived.

The next day, crews were called to the Motel Six in the 1900 block of North Hutchinson Road at 7:06 a.m. on a report of a burning car. A column of smoke could be seen. When crews arrived, they found a fire in the engine compartment of a four-door sedan. They were able to put the fire out before it spread to the rest of the vehicle.

Another car fire was reported on April 2 on Pines Road just north of Sprague Avenue at 6:51 p.m. The vehicle was blocking a northbound lane on Pines Road, but the fire was out when crews arrived. There had been a small electrical fire near the battery. The car was pushed out of the road by Washington State Patrol.

Another call came in at 6:42 a.m. on Saturday from the 5000 block of East Second Avenue. A red pickup truck was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived. Firefighters worked to keep the flames from spreading to nearby piles of debris and garbage. Crews could see a plastic gas can nearby and what appeared to be a burning pile of clothes near the gas can. The sheriff’s office was called.

Other calls, March 26 to April 2

March 29: A broken natural gas line was reported at Suncrest Lane and Belle Terre Avenue at 9:05 a.m. A crew from Vera Water and Power had dug a 2-foot-deep trench in the street and hit a natural gas line. Nearby residents were told to stay inside their homes with the doors and windows shut until Avista was able to shut off the gas. A fire alarm was reported at a day care in the 300 block of South Dishman Mica Road at 11:06 a.m. It was reported that a child had pulled the alarm. Firefighters held an impromptu class to teach the children when to pull a fire alarm.

March 31: Members of the Rescue Task Force responded to the area of Fourth Avenue and Dishman-Mica Road at 4:11 p.m. to assist the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. There were no injuries.

April 1: A crew was called to Centennial Middle School to attempt to remove a ring stuck on a girl’s finger at 9:19 a.m. The ring was made of tungsten and the ring cutter was ineffective. The girl’s mother was advised to take her daughter to the hospital. A possible illegal fire was reported in the 4800 block of North Calvin Road at 11:16 a.m. The residents denied they were burning anything even though a fire was visible in the backyard. Trash and cardboard were being burned. The residents were reluctant to put the fire out when told it was illegal.

April 2: A brush fire was reported in the 23700 block of East Garland Avenue. Crews found a burning slash pile that was about 10 feet high and 10 feet wide. The homeowner was notified that a slash pile fire was illegal. A motorcycle crash was reported in the 7800 block of East Sprague Avenue at 5:33 p.m. The caller said the motorcyclist had hit his head and was unconscious. He was taken to Sacred Hart Hospital. A house fire was reported in the 4000 block of North Marguerite Road at 6:42 p.m. When crews arrived, the fire had been put out by the homeowner with a fire extinguisher. The fire appeared to have started in a flower pot on the patio and spread to the siding of the house.

April 3: An illegal fire was reported in the 18300 block of East Eighth Avenue at 6:54 p.m. Crews found the homeowner adding more fuel to a burning pile of yard debris about 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide. The resident said he did not know that it was illegal to burn yard waste.

April 4: A three-car crash was reported at 4:44 a.m. at the corner of South Farr Road and East Appleway Boulevard. One of the cars hit a power pole, bringing power lines down on one of the cars.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 341 calls the week of March 26 to April 2, including 270 calls for emergency medical services. Additional responses included 17 car accidents and a report of a smoking bush that turned out to be clouds of pollen coming from the bush.

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