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

Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Wind brings down trees and power lines, damaging homes and blocking roads

The Spokane Valley Fire Department Administration Building is shown.  (The Spokesman-Review)
By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

A blustery day on April 4 caused all sorts of issues for residents in the area and quite a few had to call the Spokane Valley Fire Department for assistance to deal with trees smashing into homes, blocking roads and tearing down power lines.

A resident in the area of Woodland Drive and Fancher Road called 911 at 3:15 p.m. to report that an 80- to 90-foot spruce tree had fallen on her house and possibly damaged the natural gas line. A power line was also torn down. The natural gas line was not damaged, but the back half of the house was uninhabitable. The Red Cross was called to assist the resident.

Crews received a report of a tree on fire in the 17900 block of East Boone Avenue at 3:17 p.m. Crews found a tree that was leaning on the power line, but there was no longer any fire. The transformer had blown.

A report of a tree across Carnahan Road just south of Eighth Avenue came in at 4:11 p.m. The tree was blocking the road and had taken down a power line, which witnesses said was arcing on the ground and in the trees, starting several small fires. After Avista arrived to shut down the power, a Spokane Valley street crew removed the tree from the road.

Just down the road, a downed tree and downed power line was reported across the road in the 5400 block of East Eighth Avenue at 5:12 p.m. with cars driving over the downed line. Unsure if the line was live, crews shut down the road until Avista arrived.

Other calls

April 4-10

April 4: A trampoline blew away and hit a few parked cars and took out what appeared to be power lines in the 2800 block of North Bowman Road at 3:06 p.m. It was determined that it was phone and cable lines. A vehicle hit a pole in the 4300 block of North Farr Road at 10:32 p.m. The car hit the pole and flipped on its side in the yard of a nearby home. The power pole was sheared off. The driver was able to climb out the rear window of the car and no extrication was required. A resident in the 6400 block of East 10th Avenue called at 11:26 p.m. to report that a 100-foot-tall pine tree in his backyard was leaning toward his neighbor’s house. The resident was advised that the fire department could not assist him and that he should call a tree company to have it removed. The neighbors had moved their cars out of their garage as a precaution.

April 5: A fire was reported in the 15500 block of East Wellesley Avenue at 5:23 a.m. Crews discovered that a 1-pound propane bottle with an attached torch had been used to light vegetation on fire and was then left in the midst of the burning vegetation. The valve of the torch was slightly melted. A vehicle crash with extrication was reported in the 4300 block of North Centennial Lane at 2:17 p.m.

April 8: A barn fire was reported in the 10500 block of East 15th Avenue at 12:38 p.m. The resident reported seeing flames from the roof and sides. Crews found the barn fully engulfed in fire when they arrived. The fire spread to nearby dry leaves and straw and damaged a fence. Spokane County Fire District 8 assisted with the fire.

April 9: A rollover crash requiring extrication was reported at Appleway Avenue and Dishman Road at 3:13 a.m. The vehicle was lying on the driver’s side and the doors were locked and the windows intact. The car was stabilized and the roof was removed so the driver could be taken out of the car. An illegal fire was reported in the 17700 block of East Cowley Avenue at 1:16 p.m. Crews discovered the homeowner burning yard debris. He was advised to put the fire out. A fire alarm sounded at the Rodeway Inn on East Broadway Avenue at 2:05 p.m. The system was malfunctioning and the owner was told to have the system repaired within 24 hours. Smoke was reported in the area of a homeless camp near Mirabeau Park at 6:13 p.m. Crews hiked in and found a 50-by-50-foot fire in the area of a shelter made from logs. The fire was put out. A car hit a pole in the 16900 block of East Sprague Avenue at 7:29 p.m. Bystanders reported that a woman who was in the car was running down the road screaming. The car was on its top and had gone through a chain link fence, over a sign and stopped after striking a small excavator.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 413 calls the week of April 4-10, including 322 calls for emergency medical services. Additional responses included 16 car crashes, a report of a woman trying to light bricks on fire, a fire alarm set off by popcorn and a report of smoke that turned out to be steam from a clothes dryer.