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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Crews suppress RV blaze after owner thought he had put it out earlier

The Spokane Valley Fire Department Administration Building shown at 2021 N. Wilbur Road .  (The  Spokesman-Review)
The Spokane Valley Fire Department Administration Building shown at 2021 N. Wilbur Road . (The Spokesman-Review)
By NIna Culver For The Spokesman-Review

A fire that was thought to be out but was still active resulted in a call to the Spokane Valley Fire Department about a burning RV at 4:20 a.m. on Friday in the 2400 block of South Calvin Road. Arriving crews found the RV fully on fire, but were able to put it out before it spread to any structures.

Witnesses and evidence at the scene, including several expelled fire extinguishers, point to a fire that the camper owner tried to put out on his own. It appeared the owner left the area after he thought the fire squelched, said department spokeswoman Julie Happy. However, the fire was not completely extinguished.

The cause of the fire was most likely related to a small portable heating device, and it was ruled accidental, Happy said.

Two engines from Spokane County Fire District 8 responded to help put out the fire. No injuries were reported.

Traffic accidents make up a significant number of fire department calls and one caused by bad weather nearly ended in disaster. Crews were called to a two-car accident on westbound Interstate 90 near the Evergreen exit at 5:29 p.m. Roads were icy and crews called for extrication equipment.

While crews were still on scene, a three-car accident occurred in the eastbound lanes nearby. Two crews responded to that crash, including command vehicle Valley 21, which was parked behind the crash to block the road so crews could work. Valley 21 was rear-ended by another car, damaging the vehicle.

Other calls Jan. 25-31

Jan. 25: A possible dumpster fire was reported in the 3400 block of North Argonne Road shortly after midnight. When crews arrived, they spoke to an employee at a nearby business, who reported using water to put out a burning pile of trash. A possible illegal fire was reported in the area of Sprague Avenue and Willow Road at 1:27 a.m. Crews found a smoldering fire of trash and a tree stump inside a makeshift fire ring. The fire was put out.

A nearby fire was reported next to a dumpster at 5:10 a.m. in the same general area of the previous dumpster fire call on North Argonne . No one was around, but there were tracks in the snow leading up to and away from the fire. The fire was put out.

A car fire was reported on I-90 near the Liberty Lake exit at 4:59 p.m. The driver reported the dash began sparking and smoking, prompting him to pull over. Smoke was coming from the interior when firefighters arrived.

Jan. 26: A vehicle crashed into a fence in the 6700 block of East Heacox Avenue at 12:21 p.m. No injuries were reported.

Jan. 29: A hazardous material call was received from the 14000 block of East Mallon Avenue at 8:48 a.m. The homeowner found a leaking can of bear spray in his basement and brought it outside. Crews helped him ventilate the home.

Smoke was seen coming from a previously burned building in the 4700 block of East Sprague at 1:20 p.m. Crews found a homeless man inside the building who had lit a campfire. When crews began to put the fire out, the man became argumentative and aggressive, and police were called.

Jan. 30: A fire was reported inside a reader board sign at the Otis Grill on Harvard Road at 9:46 a.m. No fire was seen when crews arrived. An employee said a customer reported seeing smoke and flames coming from the sign, and she gave him a fire extinguisher to use while she turned off the power to the sign. Two wires had their insulation burned off, but the fire was out. The cause of the fire was determined to be a malfunctioning light ballast.

An employee from the Otis Orchards Library walked into the fire station next door at 12:11 p.m. and reported smelling a natural gas odor inside the library. Crews could smell a slight odor near the gas meter by the back door. No gas was detected inside the library. Avista was called to respond.

Jan. 31: A fire was reported in an oil house at Kaiser Aluminum off Sullivan Road at 5:57 p.m. Light smoke was seen coming from the building when crews arrived. There had been a small fire in a drum that was put out by the sprinkler system. A dumpster fire was reported in the parking lot of Pawn 1 at 9:49 p.m. Crews put out the fire.

By the numbers: Firefighters responded to 344 calls the week of Jan. 25-31, including 283 calls for emergency medical services. Other responses included 16 car crashes, a burning Christmas tree in someone’s yard, a fire alarm set off by cooking and a school bus that hit a parked car.

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