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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Crews spot car on road throwing sparks in its wake

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

The weather continues to be hot and dry and the fire danger is at the top of the charts. Crews with the Spokane Valley Fire Department are doing their best to quickly put the fires out before they spread, but people need to be diligent about being fire safe as well.

In one incident last week, crews in an engine returning from a call around 10 p.m. on July 26 and spotted a damaged car driving down Appleway toward University Road, throwing a shower of sparks in its wake. The sparks could have easily started a fire on the side of the road. The engine crew attempted to follow the car and wave down the driver, but were unsuccessful.

Other calls July 26 to Aug. 1

July 26: A brush fire was reported on the south shoulder of eastbound Interstate 90 near the Liberty Lake exit at 9:39 a.m. A slow-moving grass fire was about 100 feet by 100 feet in when crews arrived. A second fire, similar in size, was located just east of the first fire. Both fires were put out. A brush fire was reported at Kildea and Estep roads at 5:19 p.m. Crews found a fire that was about 30 feet by 125 feet that was wrapping around an old warehouse foundation. Crews were able to put the fire out before it spread . A fire was reported in the 6700 block of East 10th Avenue at 5:42 p.m. Light smoke was coming from the home when crews arrived, but the smoke was caused by burnt food. There was no fire.

July 27: Some hot spots were reported at 8:25 a.m. at a fire put out the previous day at Estep and Kildea. Crews soaked the hot spots with water to douse the burning embers. A brush fire was reported at the Maringo trailhead in the 9700 block of East Maringo Drive at 2:12. Crews found grass fire measuring 100 feet by 100 feet and also noted a group of teenagers watching the fire with spent fireworks lying on the ground near the estimated starting point of the fire. Crews, assisted by the Department of Natural Resources, dug a line around the fire and put it out.

July 28: A garage fire was reported in the area of Grace and Glenbrook lanes at 7:35 a.m. The caller reported that a gas can had caught on fire and her husband was trying to put it out. The Red Cross responded to help two adults, two children and two dogs.

July 29: A fire was reported in a 50-foot construction trailer attached to a semitruck in the 3200 block of North Flora Road at 2:01 p.m. The nearby Union Pacific Railroad track was blocked while the fire was put out. Smoke was reported in the area of Pines Road and Nora Avenue at 3:53 p.m. Crews found a homeless camp that had previously burned showing several hot spots. The ground was also hot. The area was doused with water. A brush fire was reported in the 500 block of South McKinnon Road at 4:44 p.m. It appeared that a homeless campfire had spread into grass and brush until it was about 25 feet by 25 feet . The fire was put out.

July 30: A possible natural gas leak was reported in the 14900 block of East Longfellow Avenue at 3:47 a.m. The resident said she heard a loud bang from the mechanical room and smelled gas. No gas leak was detected.

Aug. 1: A caller reported that a blown transformer had lit a power pole on fire in the 16700 block of East Euclid Avenue at 3:12 p.m. Crews discovered that the pole had burned all the way through about 6 feet from the top and the top section had broken off, but was being held up by power lines. Avista responded and cut power to the lines. A carbon monoxide detector sounded in the 10400 block of East Empire Way at 10:32 p.m. Monitors showed higher than usual levels of CO and the problem was traced to a hot water heater. The natural gas to the home was turned off and the home was aired out.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 436 calls the week of July 26 to Aug. 1, including 342 calls for emergency medical services. Other responses included 30 fires, 24 car crashes, three children accidentally locked inside a car in separate incidents, six separate reports of arcing power lines during a windstorm, and several callers who reported smoke in their area, but crews could not find anything other than the smoky haze that has filled the sky recently.


Correspondent Nina Culver can be reached at

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