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Mar 9, 2020

For Immediate Release:

March 9, 2020


Julie Happy

Community Affairs Manager

Spokane Valley Fire Department







1. Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) responded early this morning around 3:30 a.m. to a fire at the Longhorn Barbeque Restaurant on North Argonne Road. Both Spokane County Fire Districts 8 and 9 responded to provide Auto Aid to SVFD.

The fire started outside, behind the building in the back of the restaurant.  A worker at the Maverick station located next to the restaurant noticed the fire and called it in to 911.

The fire spread up the exterior wall and into the attic where the sprinkler system activated and helped to put the fire out and minimalize the damage to the building.  Crews also arrived on scene and were aggressive in containing the fire to the exterior wall and attic.

Preliminary investigations suspect that someone was trying to cook behind the building.  There were materials that resembled something used to make a small cooking platform as well as the food items being cooked.

“We are seeing an increase in these types of fires in the area,” said Spokane Valley Fire Department Fire Marshal, Greg Rogers.  “We ask citizens if they see any illegal burning activity that they call and report it.  As we go into warmer months, we want to make sure we keep our community safe from the dangers illegal burning can quickly cause.”

Fire at Longhorn BBQ











2. SVFD crews responded to a cooking fire yesterday, March 8, at Vaqueros Restaurant on East Indiana. This was an internal kitchen fire.  Restaurant workers were preparing beans at the restaurant when the fire occurred.  Sprinklers also activated at this restaurant keeping damages to a minimum.  The restaurant was able to have fire and life safety systems (fire suppression and alarm backup) both up and running within 2 hours allowing the restaurant to re-open.

There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported in either incident.

“Sprinkler Systems save lives and money,” said Spokane Valley Fire Assistant Fire Marshal, Brett Anderson.  “We are seeing a dramatic difference in the amount of damage a building and property sustains where there are sprinkler systems in place versus buildings where they are not.”

Fire Sprinkler











3. Crews also responded to a CO alarm call this morning on E Saltese Road. An older woman called in saying that an alarm was going off inside her home. When crews arrived on scene they found the occupant outside and an audible alarm going off inside the home.  The woman stated she felt fine.  Crews evaluated her condition and found her non-symptomatic.

Firefighters entered the home and activated the air monitor to investigate the source of the alarm.  As they entered the front bedroom where the alarm was going off, the air monitor alarmed with a reading of 36 ppm.  Crews evacuated the house and notified Avista who arrived and took over the scene.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department would like to remind residents to have a home safety inspection completed to check all fire and Carbon Monoxide alarms for functionality and that there is adequate placement throughout their home.  Approximately, two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors. Smoke detectors should be installed in the living areas on every floor of your home.  Smoke detectors more than ten years old should be replaced.  If you have questions or want a free home inspection call your Spokane Valley Fire Department, 892-4153 or visit

Carbon Monoxide Alarm. In Box













About SVFD
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, classified as an ISO Class 2 department by the Washington Survey and Ratings Bureau (WSRB).  SVFD is one of four accredited departments in the state and the only department with distinction as an ISO class 2.   

For more information about Spokane Valley Fire Department, visit

Follow us @spokanevalleyfire on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.


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. 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.”