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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Crews called after pipes burst in freezing temperatures

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

The recent cold weather created some problems with frozen pipes, which also created a problem for Spokane Valley Fire Department crews.

Crews were called to the 6200 block of East Mission Avenue for a sounding alarm at 12:32 p.m. Saturday. There were several commercial buildings on site with no visible smoke or flames . Crews did find flowing water from a building, said department spokeswoman Julie Happy. The pipes to the fire sprinkler system had frozen and burst, sending water everywhere.

Later in the day, crews were called to an apartment building in the 15600 block of East Valleyway for an alarm at 1:21 p.m. When they arrived, they saw water coming down from a third-floor balcony. The residents said a pipe in an exterior wall had burst and was flooding several apartments, Happy said. Crews were able to turn the water off. The apartment manager called a restoration company to repair the damage.

The next day, crews received a similar call from the 1300 block of North Liberty Lake Road at 1:58 a.m. Water was seen pouring from an entry overhang. A pipe in the fire sprinkler system had burst. The water was shut off, and the manager called a repair company.

Another broken pipe, this one in the attic of an apartment building in the 18800 block of East Broadway Avenue, was discovered at 5:25 p.m. on Sunday. The water, which was leaking into an apartment, was shut off.

Other calls Feb. 8-14

Feb. 8: A crew discovered a woman in a powered wheelchair stuck on the sidewalk in the 7800 block of East Trent Avenue at 9:51 a.m. A battalion chief responded to help transport the woman and her wheelchair to her destination. A fire was reported in a shopping cart in the area of University Road and Sprague Avenue at 12:44 p.m. A passer-by borrowed a fire extinguisher from Fred’s Appliance and used it to put the fire out before crews arrived.

Feb. 9: A fire alarm summoned firefighters to a home in the 200 block of South Coleman Road at 12:57 p.m. They arrived to find a home with the doors and windows open, visible light smoke and smoke alarms sounding. The homeowner said he had burned a pot of food on the stove. A construction crew severed a 2-inch natural gas line during roadwork in the 3200 block of North Tschirley Road at 1:33 p.m. Avista was called to secure the leak. A chimney fire was reported in the area of 31st Avenue and Wilbur Road at 4:40 p.m. The homeowner reported seeing flames coming from the top of the chimney and smoke in the home. The fire was put out. A car hit a garage in the 200 block of South Farr Road at 7 p.m.

Feb. 10: A possible natural gas leak was reported coming from a natural gas line in a fenced facility in the area of Wellesley Avenue and Harvard Road at 10:02 a.m. Crews could see the natural gas in the air and smell it. It appeared that the gas was coming from a relief port due to possible over-pressurization of the system. Avista was called.

Feb. 11: A smoke detector activated in a room at a hotel in the 8900 block of East Mission Avenue at 7:35 p.m. It was determined that steam from the shower had activated the alarm. Crews were called to the Catherine Johnson Apartments at Eastern Road and Fourth Avenue at 8:02 p.m. The resident from a ground floor apartment said his baseboard heater was arcing and sparking before catching fire. He reported turning off the breaker and using a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. The fire was out.

Feb. 12: A fire was reported in the 13100 block of East 11th Avenue at 12:52 a.m. A fire had started in an outlet and a wire going to a baseboard heater and was put out. A possible natural gas leak was reported in the 12400 block of East Mansfield Avenue at 7:23 a.m. It appeared that the purge valve on a gas meter serving four apartments was frozen open and venting gas. Avista was notified.

Feb. 13: A pickup truck reportedly hit a parked car and then hit the side of an apartment building in the 200 block of South Whipple Road at 10:31 p.m. The truck had punched a small hole in the building and knocked some pots out of a kitchen cupboard. Police were called.

Feb. 14: A caller reported a man had hit a woman waiting at a bus stop in the 2400 block of North Argonne Road at 5:48 p.m. and then drove away. The caller reported the driver may have been drunk.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 361 calls the week of Feb. 7-14, including 280 calls for emergency medical services. Other responses included 12 car crashes, a suspected mobile home fire that turned out to be burning trash in an old washing machine and a pickup truck that caught fire shortly after the driver plugged in a block heater.

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