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Dec 10, 2020

For Immediate Release:

December 10, 2020


Julie Happy

Community Affairs Manager

Spokane Valley Fire






UPDATE – December 11, 11:18 a.m.

Spokane Valley Fire Department Investigator has concluded his determination of the cause of the fire yesterday morning, December 11, in the 900 block of south Nina Circle.

At this time, the SVFD Investigator has ruled the fire as accidental, smoking related.

The intensity and fatal outcome of this fire were also increased due to the oxygen present in the home that was being used by the victim.

Spokane Valley Fire received investigative assistance on this incident from the SCSO Major Crimes Division and the SCSO Forensics Unit.  Their support during the investigation was very helpful and appreciated.

No illegal activity is suspected regarding this fire.


911 dispatched Spokane Valley Fire crews after a passerby saw flames from a Trailer Home and called 911.  The passerby knew the home and the resident.  He attempted entry but was unable due to black smoke and intense flames.

Crews arrived knowing potentially someone was inside.  They made rapid entry into the mobile home looking for the resident.  Black smoke and a heavy working fire were underway and unfortunately, the elderly resident did not survive the fire.  The home was familiar to SVFD Fire crews from prior 911 calls for medical help.

Information regarding the fatality was initially withheld from reporting until family members could be notified.  Spokane Valley Fire is saddened at the loss of a member of our community and offer condolences to the family for their great loss. The SVFD Chaplain arrived on scene to help with the needs of the family members and Firefighters.

The fire continues to be under investigation through a collaboration between the Spokane Valley Fire Investigator and an additional Forensic Investigator.

Fire on Nina Circle


















Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) units were dispatched at 5:43 this morning for a report of a structure fire in the 900 block of S. Nina Cir. A passerby saw flames from a Trailer Home and called 911.  The passerby knew the home and the resident.  He attempted entry but was unable due to black smoke and intense flames.

Firefighters on Engine 1, from SVFD’s University Station, arrived within five minutes of being dispatched to find a single wide mobile home with flames showing in four windows on one side of the home. The fire was quickly declared a working fire, which brings additional preplanned resources bringing the total to six engine companies, two ladder companies, along with command staff. Units from the City of Spokane, and Fire District 8 responded as part of automatic aid.

This was the second working fire of the shift, with crews also rotating through a ‘Firewatch’ on the N Best incident overnight dealing with hotspots. No injuries were reported to firefighters during suppression operations.

The cause of both the Nina Circle, and the North Best fire are under investigation. More information may be released later this morning through the Community Affairs Office, 509-892-4155


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 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

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.”