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EARLY MORNING FIRE IN OUTSIDE STRUCTURE

Mar 30, 2022

For Immediate Release:

March 30th, 2022

Contact:        

Jeff Smetzler

PIO  SVFD

509-319-6078

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Early Morning Fire in Outside Structure

Improper use of extension cords causes fire in Tiny Home

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Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to an early morning fire in an occupied 14ft x 40ft alternative outside structure being used as a “Tiny Home” in the back of the property at 3222 N. Elton in Spokane Valley.  Occupants called 911 when they awoke to smoke and flames burning up the wall next to the electrical panel in the structure.  The occupants were able to exit the structure safely but were exposed to some smoke while attempting to put the fire out themselves.  One occupant was evaluated by AMR on scene after being exposed to smoke and was later drove to a local hospital by family members for further evaluation as they felt they did not need ambulance transport. 

The initial arriving crew VE2 reported no fire showing and was quickly directed to the correct address approx. three houses south of the original reported address from the 911 caller. The occupants met with VE2 crew and reported that they had extinguished the fire with the garden hose running from the main home on the property that was being used for the domestic water supply to the outside structure.  Fire crews completed a quick search of the structure to confirm fire was extinguished and no occupants were still in the structure.   A small mattress and bean bag were still smoldering and were removed by fire crews and extinguished with water lines in the backyard. The type of structure even though still structurally standing is currently uninhabitable due to smoke and fire damage.  No firefighter injuries were reported.   

Occupants reported that there are usually two family members living in the structure.  The cause of the fire was improper use of multiple extension cords running from the primary residence to the outside structure acting as a permanent power source.  The structure did not have any smoke detectors installed, fire extinguishers and proper electrical wiring.

Spokane Valley Fire wants to remind residents that use of alternate outside structure such as portable type sheds or “Tiny Home” type structures still require proper permitting which includes following the fire codes in that area.  Extension cords are for temporary use and are not permitted for use as permanent power source or in the place of approved permitted electrical wiring.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department would like to remind residents that fire codes are in place for your protection and life safety.  If you have questions related to the fire codes in your area you can contact the Prevention Department at Spokane Valley Fire Department.

About Spokane Valley Fire Department
The Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) serves a population of 125,000+ over 75-square miles, including the cities of Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Millwood, as well as surrounding unincorporated areas. In 2021, our cross-trained Firefighter/EMTs and Firefighter/Paramedics responded to more than 22,400 emergency calls.

Established in 1940, SVFD is committed to pursuing excellence and is distinguished as an accredited agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), and by SVFD’s Class 2 fire insurance rating from the Washington Survey and Rating Bureau

Connect with SVFD at: spokanevalleyfire.com. For department news, safety information, and timely updates, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

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Did you Know?

 

  • You can sign up for a station tour. Great for small groups.
  • You should replace the batteries in your smoke alarms twice a year.
  • Creating a defensible space with regards to wildfires could just save your home or property.

Media Contact

  • Julie Happy
  • 509-892-4155

Commissioner Patrick Burch

Board Member Since: July 18, 2016
Current term expires: December 31, 2025

Commissioner Burch was appointed to the Board of Fire Commissioners in July 2016 to fill an unexpired term and has served continuously since that time. Commissioner Burch is co-owner and Business Manager of Neurotherapy Northwest. He became a volunteer member of the Department’s CERT Team in 2008 and later served as a team leader/member of Fire Corps.

“I admire the Spokane Valley Fire Department’s focus on continuous improvement. Our dedication to the community, fiscal responsibility and the fact that we are one of the few accredited fire departments in the State of Washington all make SVFD great!”

Note: As the individual appointed to this non-partisan position, Commissioner Burch was elected by voters in November 2017.

Commissioner Mike Kester

Board Member Since: January 1, 2020
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2025

Commissioner Mike Kester was elected to the Board of Fire Commissioners in November, 2019.

Commissioner Kester grew up in the Spokane area and has a deep appreciation for just how fortunate we all are to live in this beautiful area. He believes that being involved in this community is not something to take lightly.

His background includes joining the United States Coast Guard (U.S.C.G) after high school and serving on a port firefighting boat doing search and rescue in Portland, Oregon.  After the Coast Guard, he attended the University of Montana earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Resource Management.  He then went on to work for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, serving in their Parks Department.

Spokane was the next step in his career. He  went to work for the Burlington Santa Fe Railroad and the next 22 years was spent as a conductor moving freight. Commissioner Kester  retired in 2010 after a workplace injury and now,  he and his wife enjoy making meals for World War II Veterans, helping out at the YMCA ,and providing meals for those in need.

“In the 25 years of being a resident of the Spokane Valley the professionalism of the SVFD has inspired me to take an active part in bettering our community. We have one of the best fire departments in the whole Pacific Northwest. My wife and I have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. I have dedicated my life to keeping them safe.  I want to apply that dedication to our community.  Keeping us all safe is a goal we should all aspire to in one way or another. Communication within the department and with the public is, and always will be one of my primary goals.”

Commissioner John Guarisco

Board Member since: August 27, 2018
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2027

Commissioner Guarisco was appointed to the Board of Fire Commissioners in August 2018 to fill an unexpired term and has served continuously since that time. Commissioner Guarisco founded Marjoni Marketing in 2004 and in 2010 merged with MDI marketing. He then pursued Real Estate, earning his license and now, currently serves the greater Spokane area as a licensed Realtor. He has long been active in the community and has won numerous awards during his career including the Volunteer of the Year (2014) and the Community Caring Award (2010) from the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.  He is a member of the Greater Spokane Valley Rotary Club and holds an AA degree from Spokane Falls Community College.

Note: As the individual appointed to this non-partisan position, Commissioner Guarisco was elected by voters in November 2019.

Commissioner Bill Anderson

Board Member since: January 1, 2000
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2023

Commissioner Anderson served our community as a Spokane Valley Fire Department firefighter for 29 years. Throughout his career, he worked as a firefighter, dispatcher and engineer before he was promoted and became an officer. He was Station Captain of Millwood Station 2 when he retired in 1999. During his years as firefighter, he was an active leader of Spokane Valley Firefighters Local 876 and served as a trustee on the Washington State Council of Firefighters for 25 years.

“It’s important to me that we continue the good service we’ve always given the people. We’ve accomplished a lot and are pulling in the same direction to get better. I’m very proud of the Spokane Valley Fire Department.”

Commissioner Brian Asmus

Board Member Since: June 14, 2021
Current term expires: 

Commissioner Brian Asmus was appointed to the Spokane Valley Fire Department Board of Fire Commissioners in 2021.

Commissioner Asmus is the former Liberty Lake Police Chief and current Director of Safety and Security at Central Valley School District (CVSD).

“Brian Asmus brings extensive Public Safety leadership experience, and a long history of being actively engaged in his community to his new role as a SVFD Commissioner,” said SVFD Fire Chief, Bryan Collins. “During his time as a Police Chief, Brian interacted with SVFD firefighters and administrators on a regular basis, making him very familiar with our structure, standing within our communities, as well as with many of our current SVFD board members and personnel. Brian’s experience working and collaborating on regional issues aligns nicely with SVFD’s philosophy and will help us continue to be a catalyst for local and regional excellence and innovation.”

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