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The Feb. 11 fire that destroyed five Sandpoint businesses and affected two others, totaling more than $4 million in damages, was ruled an accident Friday by Idaho State Fire Marshal.
Three rustic, gas-fed fire pits ringing the new skating ribbon in Riverfront Park have been shut off by order of the Spokane fire marshal, over concerns visitors were putting their hands too close to the flames. The city expects to relight them when lids arrive for the grates surrounding the features.
The two-person limit on visitors to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ office applies only to the public waiting space at the front of the suite, Spokane Fire Marshal Mike Miller said last week.
Six months after the fire marshal temporarily shut down a rental property owned by convicted rapist Arlin Jordin, neighbors, tenants and inspectors say his house on the lower South Hill is in much better shape. But neighbors who sued Jordin in small claims court over the disturbances at the property say they’re still eager to see it sold, a condition Jordin agreed to in a court settlement signed last November.
There was an odd moment late in last week’s Land Board meeting, when the board had gone through a consultant’s recommendations on how to better manage the state endowment’s land assets. The recommendations include steps to bring more professional management to the endowment’s land investment portfolio. The consultant, Callan Associates, also recommends Idaho prudently divest its portfolio of commercial property; hire new staff at the state Department of Lands; and extend its contract with Callan Associates for four years at $145,000 a year.
With dry conditions and a large storm that blew through the area last week, the Spokane Valley Fire Department has been busier than usual. “It’s been a busy, busy week for us,” said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford. He said there were 331 calls between July 31 and Aug. 6.
Six bars in mostly remote towns in the Inland Northwest have been destroyed by fire in the past 10 months, but there’s no interstate fire reporting system in place that might help determine whether a pattern exists. Four of the fires occurred in the Idaho Panhandle and two more burned just across the state line in northwestern Montana, causing thousands of dollars in damage but no loss of life or injuries.
An ill-aimed Roman candle is to blame for a small fire at a nearby house on Wednesday afternoon, authorities say. No one was injured. About 4 p.m., a group was shooting fireworks at Dutch Jake’s Park at Broadway Avenue and Chestnut Street, said Lisa Jones, Spokane’s fire marshal. The group shot a Roman candle toward a house across the street, which hit a bush in the front yard, according to a neighbor who reported the fire.
A homeowner in the 4300 block of North Martinson Road was smoking a whole pig in a homemade smoker Saturday at 10:39 p.m. when the inside of the device became too hot. The heat rendered the fat, which dripped onto the flames and caught fire, according to Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford.
Burn bans have been lifted in Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Millwood and unincorporated Spokane County.
For three years or so, with the city’s blessing, Dave Largent did what the city is now telling him he cannot do: Run a bar in a space connected to the shuttered Ridpath Hotel. And until the myriad problems plaguing the hotel are fixed – problems whose solutions seem to be tiny dots on a far horizon – Largent is stuck paying the mortgage with no hope of bringing in any income.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center may reopen for business today after being shut down for violating state fire codes. The center, at 845 S. Sherman St., was issued a new certificate of occupancy Tuesday but must still be investigated by the state fire marshal before it reopens. Center Director Freda Gandy said Spokane Mayor David Condon personally delivered the certificate.
City building officials issued a series of demands Tuesday to the numerous owners of the former Ridpath Hotel complex to clean up and make safe the deteriorating Spokane landmark.
Emergency crews responded to a fire at 5:48 a.m. Thursday in Post Falls and say the fire’s origins are suspicious in nature.
The Spokane Valley Fire Department rescued a cat from inside a wall and gave some horses a lift in the past week. Firefighters used Kevlar air bags to lift a horse trailer that had two flat tires on the same side while being towed by a semitractor on Interstate 90 shortly after 3 a.m. last Saturday.