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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Two firefighters suffer minor injuries in two-apartment blaze

By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

Two firefighters were injured in an apartment fire at the Willowbrook Apartments, 12200 block of East Maxwell Avenue, on July 15, and six families were displaced.

A resident reported the fire at about 3:30 p.m., saying smoke was coming from a third-floor balcony. Neighbors attempted to put the fire out, but it spread into the attic and across two apartments before firefighters from the Spokane Valley Fire Department arrived, said department spokeswoman Julie Happy. Flames were coming from the roof of the building.

A dog and a cat were rescued from the fire, which took multiple crews from Valley Fire and the Spokane Fire Department to put out. Crews were also dealing with high temperatures that day. The Red Cross was called to assist the displaced families. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Other calls July 12-18

July 12: A fire was reported in the 4200 block of McDonald Road at 5:50 p.m. The caller reported seeing a teenager light a fire in a manhole near an apartment building. A crew discovered a small amount of smoke coming from a manhole. A deputy was called, but the suspect left before the deputy arrived. Members of the Rescue Task Force were called at 11:24 p.m. to stand by in case they were needed for a standoff involving the sheriff’s office in the 8000 block of East Mission Avenue. They were not needed.

July 13: A car crash requiring extrication was reported in the 7500 block of East Sprague Avenue at 10:29 p.m. The driver’s side door of one of the two cars involved in the crash was removed so crews could get the driver out of the car. The driver was taken to a local hospital for treatment. A small grass fire was reported in the area of Bowdish and Union at 4:23 p.m. A bystander put the fire out with a fire extinguisher before crews arrived. A fire was reported in the 2600 block of North Pines Road at 7:23 p.m. Crews found a burned couch in an apartment complex. A vehicle hit a pedestrian in a wheelchair in the 13900 block of East Fourth Avenue at 7:35 p.m. The pedestrian was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

July 14: A hot spot was reported at 7:06 p.m. in the area of a fire from earlier in the day in the 2600 block of North Robie Road. There was some smoldering and crews dumped water on the area and dug a line around it. A large fire was reported in the 9600 block of East Trent Avenue under an overpass at 10:45 p.m. The area is a homeless encampment and crews found six wooden pallets piled together and on fire, sending a large plume of smoke over Trent, hindering vehicle traffic. The fire was put out.

July 15: Several small fires were reported between Indiana Avenue and the railroad tracks in the area of Evergreen Road at 2:50 a.m. Witnesses reported seeing someone set off fireworks. Several small grass fires were put out. A burning trash dumpster was reported in the area of Mission Avenue and Harvard Road at 5:08 p.m. Several bystanders were there recording cell phone video. Crews put the fire out.

July 17: A fire was reported in the 10900 block of East 23rd Avenue at 6:50 a.m. The fire burned a portion of deck and one step before it was put out by a neighbor with a garden hose. The resident said she had a pot with soil in it partially under the steps that she would put her cigarettes in. A small grass fire was reported at a homeless camp in the area of Fifth and McKinnon at 4:31 p.m. The fire appeared to have been a camp fire before it spread. A crash involving a car and semi requiring extrication was reported on Sprague Avenue near the Mazda dealership. The driver’s side of the Mazda was heavily damaged and the driver had to be removed from the car. The driver was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

July 18: A brush fire was reported near the intersection of Garland and Herald near the Centennial Trail at 6:28 p.m. Crews hiked in and drove on the trail to get access to the fire and put it out.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 469 calls the week of July 12-18, including 372 calls for emergency medical services. Other responses included 33 fires, 21 car crashes, a woman who needed help because her microwave was falling off the wall, four children accidentally locked inside cars in three separate incidents and a person who accidentally locked their dog in a car.


Nina Culver can be reached at

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