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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Ask the Builder: Smoking fireplace is likely a matter of wrong dimensions

Q. Tim, I need your help. I’ve got a masonry fireplace that puffs smoke into the room when a fire is burning. It gets worse as the fire dies down. I’ve spoken with three different bricklayers who build fireplaces and have received three different answers. Confusion reigns at my home, and my wife is none too happy. Can you share what might be wrong and if there’s an easy fix to the problem? – Gary N., Dayton, Ohio A. When the cold weather starts to descend across the fruited plain, I start to get quite a few emails like Gary’s. Smoking fireplaces are a nuisance, and unfortunately the solution is not always easy.

Lack of planning turns last-minute kid-free weekend into solid adventure

Last year, after my wife and I realized we would have a kid-free week when our son and daughter went away to camp, we decided to organize our own summer trip. We talked about backpacking in Yellowstone or whitewater boating in Idaho, all big outings that required planning and long drives. Then the reality of responsible parenting set in.

Ammi Midstokke: The rocky road to recovery

Once upon a time, almost exactly a year ago, I found myself squashed under a very large, very stubborn rock. It was enormous. In my mind, it was the size of a house – or a very well-funded political campaign. And somehow it seemed to grow as time went by. Recovery from trauma, as it would seem, is a many-layered process of which I had no idea. I know this because the first time I accidentally landed on a talus field some months later, I found myself an inexplicable, blubbering lunatic. Suddenly, I was certain that all large rocks were going to come to life and obliterate me.

‘Saved by Pedro’: Rescued climber ready to give back, joins Search and Rescue team

After being rescued from a climbing accident at Chimney Rock and recovering from the injuries, Ammi Midstokke has joined the ranks of the volunteers who saved her. “I get to keep my foot,” Midstokke said last weekend at a Priest Lake Search and Rescue weekend winter training camp. “That’s a big benefit of having rescue teams available.”

Spokane Valley fire crews rescue tot trapped in bathroom

A Spokane Valley Fire Department crew safely reunited a crying toddler with a worried mother last month. A crew responded to the 3000 block of South Pines Road at 3:15 a.m. on Nov. 27. A 15-month-old child had gone into the bathroom alone and opened a drawer, preventing the door from being opened, said Fire Marshal Kevin Miller.

Sandpoint climber with broken foot grateful after boulder rescue

Sandpoint rock climber Ammi Midstokke, battered from head to toe after her foot was pinned by a 1.5-ton granite boulder in the mountains east of Priest Lake, was quick on Sunday to express thanks to her climbing companion and two teams of rescuers. “Bottom line: everyone is safe, I’m pretty banged up and spending the night under a rock sucks. I’ll update more as the morphine wears off!” she posted on her Facebook page.

Chimney fires keeping Spokane Valley fire crews busy

Spokane Valley fire crews responded to another four chimney fires in the week ending Wednesday. “I’m sure the reason why that’s an increase is because of the temperatures,” Clifford said. Homeowners should have their chimneys checked and cleaned once a year before they are used, Clifford said.

Storm causes several accidents

St. Patrick’s Day was busy for Spokane Valley Fire Department crews as they responded to a car fire on Interstate 90, a chimney fire, an electrical fire and a smokin’ party. The residents of a home in the 10100 block of East 39th Avenue called the department at 7 p.m. to report that their house was filling with smoke. A lamp had shorted out, but didn’t cause much damage, said Fire Marshal Kevin Miller. A crew from Spokane County Fire District 8 also responded to the call.

Valley Fire crews rescue 6 in home with CO poisoning

A carbon monoxide detector saved the day this week when Spokane Valley Fire Department crews responded to help a person reportedly suffering from flulike symptoms. Crews were called to the 5500 block of North Idaho Road just after 11:30 a.m. on Monday to help a 21-year-old woman.

People, pets flee chimney fire

A chimney fire damaged a home at 1814 W. Mission in northwest Spokane this morning just after 9 a.m. Three residents made it safely out of the home, as did two cats and several birds.

Man attempts lighting fire in gas fireplace

A Spokane Valley resident broke about every rule of using a natural gas fireplace this week but was lucky enough not to burn down the house. Spokane Valley Fire Department crews were called to a home in the 6800 block of East 11th Avenue at 6:51 p.m. on Tuesday. The home had a gas fireplace in the basement, said assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford. “He had removed the ceramic logs and thought he could build a real fire with real logs,” Clifford said. The man also used a road flare to try to light a collection of crumpled newspaper and wood, Clifford said.

Out & About: Chimney Rock climbing routes erased

OUTCRY – Climbers were humbled this month to find a massive rock fall had wiped out a generation of climbing routes on the east face of Chimney Rock, a landmark on the skyline east of Priest Lake. The iconic granite pillar in the Selkirk Mountains lost classic climbs, including Magnum Force, a route first free-climbed in 1967 by Spokane Mountaineers John Roskelley and Chris Kopczynski.