Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Pillow left too close to fireplace burns, fills home with smoke

Sometimes it’s the little forgotten things that can start a fire. The Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to one of these calls recently when someone reported that at 11:28 a.m. on November 9, smoke was filling a house in the Thierman Road and Bradley Road area.

The residents who evacuated the house told the firefighters that the smoke appeared to be coming from the basement. During an investigation, the crews found a smoldering pillow that had been placed too close to the fireplace. The pillow was removed and erased.

The crews also responded to three different gas pipeline breaks caused by digging equipment. As always, residents are asked to call 811 in front of the trench so that water, sewer and gas lines can be located and marked before digging begins.

Other calls 9-15 November

November 9th: A three car accident was reported on Houk Road and Mission Avenue at 6:46 a.m. It was believed that the accident was caused by icy conditions. A small fire was started on E. Trent Ave. 12425 reported at 7 a.m. The crews found a 15 by 15 foot fire that appeared to be in an empty homeless camp that burned in trash and wood. The fire was extinguished. At 9:33 p.m., a fireplace fire was reported on the 7900 block of East Valleyway Avenue. The resident said they made a fire in the wood stove and found flames from the pipe. The house was checked for heat in the walls. None was found.

November 10th: A gas leak was reported in the 6300 block of East Sharp Avenue at 10:58 a.m. A backhoe loader hit a natural gas pipeline. Avista was called in to fix the leak. The crews responded to a report of a car in a canyon on Block 2000 of South Zephyr Road at 1:20 p.m. It was found that the car had been there for several days and no one was around. A crew in Trent and Best heard a very loud noise that sounded like gas was being released at 8:25 p.m. The BNSF line and Trent were shut down during the investigation. The pressure relief valve shut down and the road and railroad reopened and Avista was called.

November 11th: At 9:50 a.m., a fire was reported in the 200 block on North Pines Road. Firefighters found a woman on the sidewalk who appeared to have set leaves and trash on fire with a lighter. The woman was told she could not light a fire and she left the area. At 1:47 p.m., a natural gas leak was reported in the 21300 block of East Vista Drive in Liberty Lake. A backhoe loader on a construction site hit a natural gas pipeline. Nearby residents were told to take shelter until Avista arrived to fix the line. One house was evacuated.

November 12th: A resident of the 10800 block on East Mission Avenue reported that he had hit a gas pipeline with a trench witch. The crews could smell the strong smell of natural gas and shut down Mission Avenue. The resident was asked to vacate the house until Avista could repair the line.

November 13th: A caller on the 126000 block on East Broadway Avenue said he had accidentally trapped a child in a car. Firefighters were able to unlock the car and free the child.

14th November: A crew was called to the 1100 block on North Liberty Lake Road because a child was accidentally trapped in a car. The car could be unlocked.

By the numbers: The crews answered 334 calls, including 276 calls to emergency services, in the week of November 9-15. Other responses were 14 car accidents, a woman trapped in her room by a broken door lock, a man locked out of his house because of a broken doorknob, and a dog with his foot stuck under the door who could get free before firefighters arrived.

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