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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Multiple engines, water tenders fight rural home blaze in Otis Orchards

By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

The Spokane Valley Fire Department had a busy week recently, responding to several large fires. The largest fire was reported in the 20100 block of East Crestwood Lane around 10 p.m. on Dec. 8.

The home in a rural area near Otis Orchards was a half-mile from the nearest fire hydrant. Some people who called 911 to report the fire said they could see the flames from Liberty Lake. The crew in the first arriving truck, Engine 4 from the Otis Orchards Station, could see the flames from Trent Avenue as they responded, said department spokeswoman Julie Happy.

The crew emptied the 500-gallon water tank on their truck in an attempt to fight the flames that were visible on two sides of the home. Other engines quickly emptied their water tanks as well. Water tenders, which are larger water tanker trucks, were sent by Newman Lake Fire and Rescue and Hauser Lake Fire to assist. Several fire engines and the two water tenders continuously shuttled back and forth to the hydrant to keep up the supply of water being used to fight the fire. Crews from Spokane County Fire District 8 also responded to help.

Firefighters broke out windows so they could enter the parts of the home not on fire to search for residents, but the home was not occupied. The fire was well involved when crews arrived and it took quite some time to completely put it out. One firefighter was injured and taken to a local hospital.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and is classified as undetermined, Happy said. The fire started inside the home, causing estimated damages of $500,000, she said.

Other calls Dec. 6-12

Dec. 6: A car crash was reported in the 19200 block of East Broadway Avenue at 9:18 a.m. It was originally reported a car had flipped, but the car slid off the road. A car crash was reported in the 4800 block of North Elton Road at 12:15 p.m. It was determined two cars had slid off the road, and no one was injured. An electrical issue was reported in a home in the 1000 block of North Vercler Road at 11:34 p.m. The main breaker on the electrical panel was hot to the touch and appeared to be burned. The homeowner was advised to call an electrician as soon as possible.

Dec. 7: A basement fire was reported in the 1600 block of North University Road at 6:11 p.m. The fire was limited to one room in the basement. The cause of the fire was traced to a faulty electrical circuit in the ceiling. Two people and four dogs were displaced. An extrication crash was reported in the 1700 block of North University Road at 11:30 p.m. The foot of the passenger sitting behind the driver was trapped. Crews were able to free the passenger’s foot.

Dec. 9: A four vehicle crash was reported at Sprague Avenue and Adams Road at 11:41 a.m. Crews were called back to the house that burned in the 20100 block of East Crestwood Lane the previous day after someone reported seeing flames on the roof at 6:05 p.m. Two engines were delayed by trains and a water tender was sent out.

Dec. 10: A large fire was reported at a construction site in the 6700 block of East 11th Avenue at 5:38 a.m. Crews found a construction trailer that was on fire.

Dec. 11: There was a report of a tree touching a power line that was causing arcing in the 10100 block of East Broadway Avenue at 7:38 a.m. Modern Electric was called and the tree was trimmed. Downed power lines were reported in the 24400 block of East Gage Street at 10:46 a.m. A large branch had fallen on the line. Avista Utilities was called.

Dec. 12: A downed power line was reported in the 24200 block of East Sprague Avenue. The line was torn down when a tree fell on a house the night before.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 439 calls the week of Dec. 6-12, including 357 calls for emergency medical services. Additional responses included 29 car crashes, a fire alarm activated by steam from a shower, a vehicle fire in a Spokane Valley police car and Christmas lights that blew a circuit breaker.


Correspondents Nina Culver can be reached at