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SPOKANE VALLEY FIREFIGHTERS CONTAIN APARTMENT FIRE
For Immediate Release:
August 22, 2019
Firefighter/Public Information Officer
Spokane Valley Fire Department
Spokane Valley Firefighters Contain Apartment Fire
Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) firefighters responded at 5:15 PM today for an apartment fire in the 12200 block of E Maxwell Ave. A tenant of the apartment called 911 reporting a kitchen appliance on fire, that was spreading to the surrounding cabinets.
Ladder 8 was the first to arrive on scene, and made their way to the 3rd story apartment with hand tools and a large water extinguisher. Firefighters reported the apartment was full of thick, dark smoke banking 3 feet down from the ceiling, with active fire in a walk-in kitchen pantry. Firefighters on Engine 7 arrived next and pulled a fire hose to the front door for fire attack, while Ladder 8 firefighters attacked the fire with the water extinguisher and searched the apartment for any trapped occupants or animals. The fire was able to be successfully contained with the water extinguisher before it could spread to any surrounding rooms. Battalion Chief 22 assumed command of the fire, with Engine 2 serving as a rapid intervention team. Firefighters on Engine 9 searched the apartments immediately next to and below the apartment on fire, to ensure all surrounding apartments were evacuated, while Engine 1 located the alarm panel to silence the alarms. Firefighters on Ladder 10 set up a large electric fan near the front door to blow the noxious smoke out the back of the apartment.
Firefighters had the fire completely extinguished within approximately 7 minutes of arriving, with most fire companies returning to service in less than an hour from time of dispatch. Firefighters overhauled the walls and ceiling surrounding the area damaged by fire, to ensure the fire did not spread into the insulation or void spaces between walls. American Medical Response Ambulance 117 medically evaluated the mother and 2 small children that were home at the time of the fire, with no injuries reported of the tenants, any animals, or any firefighters.
The mother stated that she was alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm. After being unable to extinguish the fire with water, she called 911, evacuated the apartment, and pulled a fire alarm. Preliminary reports from the fire investigator showed the fire started from a kitchen appliance, and is believed to be accidental in nature. A total of 7 fire trucks and 3 command vehicles responded.
Several fire companies reported issues with vehicles driving directly through the middle of the fire scene before traffic cones could be set up. The Spokane Valley Fire Department would like to remind you that it’s never appropriate or legal to drive through an emergency scene, and the safest action for everyone is for you to double back and drive around, or avoid the area entirely. You can be ticketed for illegally entering an emergency scene, and can receive an additional ticket and fine for illegally running over any fire equipment including fire hose. Firefighters also reported issues responding to the scene, with many vehicles illegally pulling left into the center lane instead of pulling to the right next to the curb.
This family was also alerted to the fire as soon as possible thanks to a working smoke alarm. Fires spread quickly in modern homes and apartments, and individuals can quickly be trapped without early warning of the fire. You can call the Spokane Valley Fire Department at 928-1700 during normal business hours to schedule smoke detector installation in your home.
Spokane Valley Fire Department serves the cities of Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Millwood and the surrounding unincorporated areas of Spokane County with a combined population of 125,000 across 75 square miles. SVFD firefighter crews which include paramedics and EMT’s, responded to more than 17,487 emergency calls in 2018.
Established in 1940, SVFD is an Accredited Agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International; and has a class 2 WSRB rating as given by the Washington Survey and Ratings Bureau (WSRB). SVFD is one of four accredited departments in the state and the only accredited department with distinction as a WSRB class 2.
For more information about Spokane Valley Fire Department, visit www.spokanevalleyfire.com.
- Julie Happy