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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Crews cut through trees to respond after tornadoes hit trailers

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

The crews at the Spokane Valley Fire Department are always on hand to help in a variety of emergencies, including when a small tornado tosses your RV trailer to the side like a pile of discarded tissues.

Crews were called to the 7200 block of East Fifth Avenue on an extrication call at 7:24 p.m. Friday after receiving a report that two occupied travel trailers had been toppled. They had difficulty reaching the scene because of several trees that had toppled into the road, blocking access. The first engine to respond had to cut the trees out of the way to make way for other crews trying to respond because a detour was considered “prohibitively time consuming,” department spokeswoman Julie Happy said.

An engine from the Spokane Fire Department, coming from the opposite direction, was the first to arrive at the trailers.

One travel trailer was on its side and another was nearly on its roof, balanced on top of a car. One person was safely rescued from each trailer.

A nearby business was checked after an electrical smell was reported.

Crews inspected the building and found that several fluorescent lights had blown ballasts, but there was no fire.

Other calls from May 2-8

May 2: A water rescue was reported in the 24400 block of East Third Avenue in Liberty Lake after someone reported a capsized boat at 2:08 p.m. A neighbor reported that it was his boat and had just escaped its mooring earlier. A crew was asked to stand by in the 23100 block of East Mission Avenue at 2:48 p.m. while law enforcement handled a suspicious package call. A report of a 2-year-old child who may have fallen out of a second-story window was received from the 2600 block of North Pines Road at 6:31 p.m. The parents reported the child had been in his second-story room before neighbors found him running around the parking lot and they had no idea how he got outside.

May 3: A possible arson was reported in the 1300 block of South Myrtle Street at 8:39 a.m. There was no active fire. The homeowner found burn marks on his fence and the front of his garage and said someone had recently threatened to burn down his house. The Sheriff’s Office was called and took over the investigation.

May 4: A vehicle fire was reported in the 9400 block of East Trent Avenue at 1:12 a.m. The driver reported that his car had stalled and when he popped the hood, he saw small flames. The fire was out when crews arrived, but burn marks could be seen and there was melted and exposed wiring and plastic. The area was doused with water to cool it.

May 5: Several people reported that they were locked inside a storage facility in the 15700 block of East Broadway at 10:08 p.m. A neighbor reported seeing flames coming from his neighbor’s chimney in the area of Skipworth Road and 26th Avenue at 4:03 p.m. The fire was quickly extinguished.

Friday: A 50-foot-tall pine tree fell on a house in the area of Fifth Avenue and Coleman Road at 7:29 p.m. One person was inside at the time and needed assistance exiting the home. A car was reported to have hit a building in the area of Pines Road and Eighth Avenue at 10:37 p.m. The car hit a building and broke off a passenger side wheel. Witnesses said the driver fled the area.

Saturday: A car vs. motorcycle crash was reported on Valleyway near McDonald Road at 2:20 p.m. The motorcycle rider was treated for injuries.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 426 calls the week of May 2-8, including 353 calls for emergency medical services.

Other responses included 19 car crashes, a fire alarm triggered by a bag of burnt popcorn, a large burning slash pile that included a mattress and creosote-soaked railroad ties and several reports of downed power lines during Friday’s storm.

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