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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Authorities investigate small blazes in conservation area caused by fireworks tossed from cars

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

It may still be spring, but the fire danger is increasing as grass, brush and other fuels dry out. The Spokane Valley Fire Department is among the departments in the area responding to an increasing number of calls for brush fires. So far most have been small and easily managed, but that could change.

The cause of some fires is never determined, but others are caused by people, either deliberately or accidentally. On April 29, crews responded to a report of a brush fire in the 1300 block of South Henry Road. Witnesses stated that two cars full of teenagers had driven by and threw fireworks out of the car windows into the conservation area, said department spokeswoman Julie Happy.

A witness with a fire extinguisher put out two small fires before they could spread. The fire is under investigation, aided by photos of the license plates of both vehicles taken by a witness, Happy said.

Other calls April 26-May 2

April 27: Dispatch received a call from the Life360 app reporting an accident on I-90 near the Sprague exit at 7:46 a.m. Crews responded, but no vehicle was present. A brush fire was reported in the 4400 block of East Second Avenue at 8:51 a.m. When crews arrived, they found a small burnt patch of grass and a melted fence, but the fire was out. Smoke was reported coming from a truck in the 8500 block of East Knox Avenue at 11:01 a.m. The truck was in the backyard of a home and was running when crews arrived. The truck’s owner said he hadn’t run the truck in 20 years and spilled some oil on the engine block, which created the smoke. A possible natural gas leak was reported at the Umpqua Bank in the 500 block of North Mullan Road at 11:07 a.m. An odor was detected in the furnace room. An Avista crew located and fixed a small gas leak in the inlet line. A three-vehicle crash was reported in the northbound lanes in the 1300 block of North Liberty Lake Road at 3:15 p.m. One person was taken to a local hospital. A brush fire was reported in the 9900 block of East 24th Avenue at 4:58 p.m. The fire was about 50 feet by 50 feet. Crews dug a handline around the fire and put the fire out.

April 28: Crews were called to Rocky Hill Park in Liberty Lake at 12:10 p.m. after receiving reports that a golf cart had driven into the playground and injured three people, one of them a 4-year-old boy who may have been run over. When crews arrived, the parents had already taken the boy to the hospital. An electrical issue was reported in an apartment in the 11900 block of East Mansfield Avenue at 6:28 p.m. The resident reported that his baseboard heater had started to arc and smoke and he used a fire extinguisher on it. Crews noticed a burning smell, but there was no fire.

April 29: A serious accident involving a motorcycle was reported on eastbound I-90 near Argonne at 11:14 a.m. A utility trailer fire was reported in the 13400 block of East Trent at 4:53 p.m. The fire burned the contents of the trailer and some wooden side boards. A vehicle fire was reported on eastbound Interstate 90 near exit 297 at 9:52 p.m. A car that had been involved in an accident began to smoke. A Washington State Patrol trooper investigating the accident used an extinguisher to put out the fire.

April 30: Four members of the Rescue Task Force responded at 3:51 a.m. to stand by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team as it searched two homes simultaneously. No injuries were reported. A crew responded to the 8100 block of East Broadway on a report of a stuck wheelchair at 4:31 p.m. A motorized wheelchair had gotten hung up on a bunched up rug and the crew helped free it.

May 2: A fire was reported in a home at 21 N. Harmony Road at 12:33 a.m. The homeowner reported smoke in the basement. Firefighters found the basement full of smoke. There was a footstool on fire in one room and the flames had burned part of a desk and scorched the wall. The fire was put out. A brush fire was reported in the 2800 block of North Mirabeau Parkway near the Centennial Trail trailhead parking lot at 7:17 a.m. The responding crew found a smoldering juniper tree and put the fire out. A rollover crash was reported at North Flora Road and East Euclid Avenue at 12:15 p.m. The vehicle, which was reported to have two children inside, ran through a fence before rolling over. One adult and one child were taken to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 460 calls the week of April 26-May 2, including 372 calls for emergency medical services. Additional responses included 21 car crashes, a 6-month-old child accidentally locked inside a parked car and several reports of downed power lines.

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Nina Culver can be reached at nculver47@gmail.com

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