Washington News

Friday, November 16, 2018

Tax increase failing; Douglas County Fire District 4 chief ’hopeful, but not too hopeful’

Douglas County Fire District 4’s proposed property tax increase is failing by just 10 votes, but it’s not over yet. There are still 1,400 ballots left to tabulate throughout Douglas County for the Nov. 6 election. Friday afternoon will be the last count before the election is certified Nov. 27. Of the 512 votes counted by Wednesday afternoon, 261 (50.98 percent) were against. A simple majority of voters — 50 percent plus one — must approve the measure in order for it to pass. “We’re still hopeful, but not too hopeful,” Fire Chief Jim Oatey said. He said the measure would raise the tax from 67 cents to 97 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value from 2019-21. The tax currently brings in about $275,000 per year and the increase would raise about $550,000 annually. Based in Orondo, Fire District 4 serves the area from Turtle Rock to Beebe. Money from the tax increase would go toward replacing aging fire trucks; buying gear, fuel and insurance; and building two fire stations, one as a replacement for the station near Lone Pine.
Wenatchee World

Update: Veteran South Kitsap fire firefighter was sleeping when run over by pickup truck at California wildfire

A veteran firefighter who came to California from Washington state to fight the Woolsey fire was left with major injuries when he was run over by a pickup truck as he slept at night in a field next to a fire truck in the Malibu area, the California Highway Patrol said Thursday. Terry Geisleman, 46, of the South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Department of Port Orchard, Washington, received crushing injuries to his chest and the left side of his body, a CHP report on the 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, incident said.He was airlifted from the scene at Pacific View Drive, north of Highway 1, to Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. A release from the South Kitsap Fire Chief Steve Wright described Geisleman’s injuries as not life-threatening. The area is west of Deer Creek Canyon Park. The release did not say where along the drive the incident took place.
San Bernardino County Sun

Woman found dead in Yakima mobile home fire on Wednesday identified

The 78-year-old woman found dead inside a mobile home in Yakima that caught fire has been identified. Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins identified the body as Marilyn Rae Lunceford after firefighters found her dead Wednesday night in the home at 55 W. Washington Avenue. Firefighters responded to the fire shortly after 10 p.m., to find the home with a significant amount of fire throughout 50 percent of the building. Firefighters said heat from the flames made it difficult for crews to get inside to reach a suspected trapped victim. Once they got inside, firefighters said they found the body near the fire's most intense area of origin. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday, Hawkins says.
KIMA-TV CBS 29 Yakima

Crews investigating cause of house fire in Pasco

Crews from both Pasco Fire and Franklin County Fire District #3 worked to put out a house fire Thursday evening. The house fire was on the 4000 block of Atlanta Lane in Pasco, near Burden Blvd. Pasco Fire officials tell Action News no one was inside the home at the time. They believe the fire started in the garage. They are still investigating a cause. It appears the home was for sale and many belongings stored inside the garage suffered extensive damage. Crews say the owners of the home weren't home when the fire started and neighbors called it in.

Two Woodland residents displaced by house fire

Two Woodland residents lost their home Thursday in a fire started by hot coals in their outdoor garbage bins, said Max Konkright, Clark County Fire and Rescue battalion chief. The fire in the 100 block of Wallace Road started just before 4 p.m., Konkright said. About 20 firefighters from Cowlitz District 1, Kalama District 5 and Clark County Fire and Rescue responded to put it out. Konkright said the fire was started by coals from a wood stove, which were put in the garbage before they were cool. “If we can take anything away from this...it would be that it’s always a good idea to clean out your stove and make sure the coals are cold to the touch before you place them in a receptacle outside,” Konkright said. Red Cross was on scene to take care of the couple Thursday evening, and their family plans to take them in on Friday, Konkright said. He did not release the name of the residents.
Longview Daily News

Thursday, November 15, 2018

South Kitsap Fire & Rescue firefighter injured while battling Southern California wildfires

A firefighter from the Puget Sound area was injured while helping fight the raging wildfires in Southern California Thursday morning. The firefighter with South Kitsap Fire & Rescue was one of the department's team members working the Woolsey Fire in Malibu when he was struck by a civilian car. He was flown by helicopter to a local hospital with members of his team, officials said. The extent of his injuries was not given, but he was expected to survive. "Our focus at this time is on the firefighter, his family, our fire district and our community," South Kitsap Fire & Rescue officials said. The firefighters was assigned to Washington Task Force 2, which has been taken out of service and is getting rest. Crews aren't sure yet if they will return to the fire or be sent home. Fire Chief Steve Wright was able to speak briefly with the firefighter after he was stabilized and said it was great to hear his voice and know he is okay.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Thousands of calls and 43 years later, Spokane Fire Capt. Greg Borg ready to hang up uniform

For 43 years, Spokane Fire Department Capt. Greg Borg, 68, has answered the call – actually thousands of calls. This week he served his final shift, like all the ones before it, scrambling into his turnout gear and into the rig at Station 18 in North Spokane, heading out with lights flashing and sirens blaring, to help those in need. For him, retirement isn’t due to burnout. “I love it,” he said. “I love what I do.” The 1968 Shadle grad knew a couple of firefighters growing up. “They were good guys,” Borg said. “It seemed like something I’d like to do.” He worked at fire departments in Boise and Richland before joining the SFD in 1978. He quickly discovered his favorite part of the job. “I love going out on calls,” he said. “I love seeing what’s on the other end. Every shift is different.” He also quickly discovered that dealing with death is an occupational hazard. Borg can’t count how many fatalities he’s responded to, including a recent death that still haunts him.
The Spokesman-Review

Elderly woman killed in Yakima house fire

An elderly woman is dead after a mobile home fire Wednesday night. According to the Yakima Fire Department, the woman was killed when a fire broke out in a single-wide mobile home. The fire sparked in the Broadmoor Mobile Park near Washington Avenue and South 3rd Avenue shortly after 10:00 Wednesday night. Due to the intense heat of the fire, crews couldn't immediately go into the home to search for the suspected trapped victim, Shift Commander Tom Schneider says. Once firefighters were able to get inside, the woman was found near the fire's most intense area of origin. Officials say there appears to be "a significant amount of fire throughout 50% of the entire dwelling." The woman's identity will be determined by the Yakima County Coroner.

Buckley home destroyed by fire

A home in Buckley was completely destroyed when a fire ripped through the building early Thursday morning. The fire was reported around 2 a.m. to the home in the 15000 block of 261st Ave. East, according to East Pierce Fire & Rescue officials. The elderly residents inside managed to escape before firefighters arrived and no one was injured. However, firefighters faced difficulty in battling the blaze due to a lack of nearby fire hydrant and readily available source of water.Two visiting relatives staying in an adjacent RV were OK and the RV wasn't damaged. There is no word yet what started the fire.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

USFS report ranks NCW communities by wildfire risk

The city of Leavenworth tops a new report listing of Washington communities most exposed to wildfire danger, with Ellensburg, Wenatchee, Chelan, Cashmere and Omak neighboring it in the top 10. The U.S. Forest Service report "Exposure of human communities to wildfire in the Pacific Northwest," carried out by Montana fire assessment firm Pyrologix, finds those communities among the 50 most-threatened in Washington when it comes to wildland blazes. "Exposure," in the Pyrologix report, amounts to "the likelihood of wildfire burning a given location on the landscape." The probability of wildfire affecting an individual housing unit in Leavenworth was calculated at 108 per 10,000, the report says, while in Wenatchee — number five on the ranked list — the probability was 17 per 10,000. The figures are based on factors including annual occurrence of wildfire, housing density, and proximity to fire-prone landscape. With the knowledge in the report, the authors write, homeowners and buyers can be better informed of risk, and governments and other agencies can "prioritize communities for home-loss mitigation efforts, allocate mitigation funding, inform building codes, and guide residential development."

Smoking thought to be cause in Kendall apartment fire

A Maple Falls woman was uninjured, but her apartment was a complete loss due to a Thursday morning blaze that fire crews believe started as the result of a smoking accident. Whatcom County Fire District 14 responded at 5:30 a.m. to the 7900 block of Apache Drive and found a 12 foot-by-15 foot, metal-clad outside structure that had been converted into an apartment, District 14 Chief Jerry Debruin told The Bellingham Herald Thursday in an interview. “The woman who lived there was smoking, and that’s what we think started it,” Debruin said. “She came up to the main house and said, ‘I think my place is on fire.’ It was fully involved by the time we got there.”
Bellingham Herald

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