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

Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Heat lamp ignites straw, starting fire in garage

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

This is the time of year that many people bring home baby chickens and use heat lamps in an attempt to keep them warm. However, using heat lamps is risky if not done properly, as one family recently learned.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department was called to a reported garage fire in the 11100 block of East 17th Avenue at 2:36 a.m. The homeowners said they had baby chicks and straw with a heat lamp in the garage. The heat lamp apparently ignited the straw.

The fire was put out before it could spread. A crew from Spokane County Fire District 8 responded to assist. It was determined the home did not have smoke detectors and six were installed by fire crews.

Other calls from April 18-24

April 18: There was a report of an overturned boat in the river in the 26700 block of East Appleway Avenue at 5:32 p.m. The boat was located after an extensive search and it turned out to be an abandoned boat that had been in the river for months but had moved and flipped upside down.

April 19: A rear-end accident was reported in the 2500 block of North Pines Road at 3:53 p.m. Witnesses reported the driver of the SUV that rear ended a car had fled into the nearby woods. The remaining driver was not injured.

April 20: An exterior fire was reported at a grain silo in the 1900 of North Park Road at 2:45 a.m. When crews arrived, they found a trash fire outside the silo. There was minimal damage to the interior and exterior of the grain silo.

April 21: An illegal fire was reported in the 11500 block of East Valleyway Avenue at 5:17 p.m. The homeowner was burning yard debris and was told to put out the fire. A possible semi fire was reported at 10:43 p.m. at the Washington State Patrol weigh station on Interstate 90 near Stateline. WSP reported that a truck came into the station very fast and slammed on the brakes, causing the batteries to shift and smoke. The fire was put out before crews arrived.

April 22: An illegal fire was reported in the 4000 block of North Ashton Road at 11:26 a.m. The homeowner was burning yard waste and was informed that the fire was illegal and needed to be put out. A fire was reported in the 600 block of North Steen Lane at 7:54 p.m. The residents reported that they could see flames coming from the bathroom fan. When crews arrived, they found smoke coming from the fan but no fire.

April 23: A car- versus-motorcycle accident was reported on Sprague Avenue just east of Bowdish Road at 12:47 a.m. The motorcycle rider was injured. A fire sprinkler system activation was reported in the 16800 block of East Mission Parkway. An apartment resident reported water leaking into his unit from the unit above him. The sprinkler system was shut down until it could be repaired. A person reportedly fell out of his kayak into Liberty Lake near the Zephyr Lodge at 4:54 p.m. The person was assisted by another boater and water rescue crews were canceled. A man in the 9100 block of East Upriver Drive reported being assaulted by a person on a motorcycle at 8:14 p.m. He declined the services of paramedics. As crews were leaving, a different person approached them and said he was having a medical emergency. The person was transported to a local hospital.

April 24: A resident in the 21200 block of East Country Vista Drive reported the strong smell of natural gas at 12:30 a.m. An investigation turned up a propane barbecue on the apartment balcony below hers that had the propane turned on. Crews were able to turn the propane off.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 432 calls the week of April 18-24, including 347 calls for emergency medical services. Additional responses included 27 car crashes, a vehicle fire and several false fire alarms.