Washington News

Friday, May 25, 2018

Arsonist Martin Pang who set 1995 warehouse fire that killed 4 Seattle firefighters to be released this fall

Martin Pang, the convicted arsonist who set a warehouse fire that killed four Seattle firefighters in 1995, will be released from prison this fall. The King County Prosecutor’s Office said Pang, who was convicted of four counts of manslaughter, will be out of prison Sept. 27 He being held in a minimum custody cell at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. A source close to the case said Pang has served his entire 35-year sentence with credits for good behavior. The Department of Corrections says Pang, 62, hasn't had a single infraction since 2013. The Jan. 5, 1995, fire killed Seattle firefighters James Brown, Walter Kilgore, Gregory Shoemaker and Randall Terlicker. The men were inside the Mary Pang's Food Products warehouse at South Dearborn Street and Maynard Avenue South when the floor collapsed and they pitched into a burning basement. Seven other firefighters inside the uninhabited building narrowly escaped.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Spokane County Fire District 4 moving to new Station 41 in Deer Park in mid-June

The doors of the new Fire Station 41 in Deer Park are almost ready to swing open, a move that is anticipated by both Spokane County Fire District 4 and the community. The five-door drive-thru truck bay is cavernous enough to fit 10 engines inside, but it’s the community room and public space that local residents are eagerly awaiting. “We’ve had people asking for a year,” said Fire Chief Randy Johnson. The new station on Crawford Road replaces the much older and much smaller station across the street next to the Deer Park City Hall. The station is owned by the city and the district has been leasing it, Johnson said.
Spokane Spokesman-Review

Fireworks debate heats up in Camas

City of Camas leaders have reopened an ongoing debate about the use of personal fireworks within city limits. At a public hearing held last week, Camas city councilors and Mayor Scott Higgins heard testimony from concerned residents, and said they were considering four options, including an outright ban on all personal fireworks. Dozens of people showed up for the May 14 hearing, and more than 70 others submitted written comments. A majority of the written comments favored strict limitations or an outright ban on fireworks, while speakers seemed split, with many calling for a ban and others urging no changes to Camas’ fireworks ordinance.
Camas-Washougal Post-Record

Lewis County Firefighters, Fire Districts Get Statewide Awards

Lewis County Fire Crews cleaned up at the awards portion of the 95th annual Washington State Firefighters Association conference Sunday night in Wenatchee. Lewis County Fire District 3 in Mossyrock took the top honor, winning the 2018 Washington State Fire House of the Year award. “This award recognizes model volunteer fire departments in Washington,” according to a news release from the Association. “Mossyrock was cited for its excellent leadership, dedicated volunteers and relationship with the community the department serves.” Mossyrock Fire Chief Doug Fosburg accepted the award.
Centralia Chronicle

Spokane County Fire District 8 firefighters volunteer time to make Freeman baseball field vision a reality

Putting the Freeman baseball field together took a lot of hard labor and a lot of hours from volunteers. The first responders from Fire District 8 have a personal connection to Freeman High School. They were the district first on scene when the calls about last September's school shooting came in. And they were the ones giving their time Thursday to help complete work on the baseball field. The firefighters put in hours and hours of work, after they had already worked 24-hour shifts. For a firefighter, duty takes many forms. Whether it's a house in flames, an emergency medical call, or, sometimes, a school shooting at a school where many of their kids went.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Woman dies in Stevenson mobile home fire

A 66-year-old woman died in a mobile home fire in Stevenson Wednesday night, according to the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office. Fire crews and deputies responded around 7:22 p.m. after a woman called 911 and reported her neighbor’s home was on fire. When crews arrived at the scene, they found a single-wide trailer on fire and learned a resident was still inside. A deputy and fire personnel worked together to pull 66-year-old Ella Louise Moore out of the home. Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and extreme heat when they entered, so they cut a hole in the back of the trailer to remove Moore. Firefighters tried to resuscitate Moore, but she died at the scene.
KATU-TV ABC 2 Portland

Retired Riverside Fire Authority Captain Named Volunteer Fire Officer of the Year by State Association

Retired Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Ken Colombo was named 2018 Volunteer Fire Officer of the Year Sunday night at the 95th annual Washington State Firefighters Association conference. Colombo retired in 2014 but has continued to volunteer with the RFA. “Captain Colombo is a highly valued member of our department and our community,” according to a media release from the RFA. “His unwavering commitment and contributions to recruitment, training, fire investigations, juvenile fire-setter counseling, fire/injury prevention and emergency response have now been recognized statewide.” Colombo started as a volunteer with then-Lewis County Fire District 12 in 1974 and 10 years later became a full-time firefighter, his career for 30 years.
Centralia Chronicle

Spokane’s first black firefighter dealt with racist harassment for years on the force

Lawrence Goncalves stood inside the large bay doors of the Spokane Fire Department’s Station 1 and looked around. Somehow, even 30 years after his departure, things looked remarkably similar. “Back there was the kitchen,” he said last week. And the bunk beds, just behind that wall. Those doors, where the engines would race through before turning onto Riverside Avenue, as big then as now. Of course, some things had changed – the new fire engines and the bright red paint, the unfamiliar faces. And across the street, where a butcher’s shop once hung strips of beef in the window, a Banner Bank. “We ate good back then,” Goncalves said with a smile.
Spokane Spokesman-Review

3 teens suspected of setting fires outside Marysville elementary school arrested

Marysville Police have arrested three teens they suspect were involved in a trio of fires set outside Pinewood Elementary schools over the past week. Just after 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, firefighters extinguished a small fire in a green recycling bin near the gym. On Monday, firefighters found a dumpster fire outside the school just after 2:15 a.m. There was also a smoldering fire in a portable restroom. Then on Wednesday about 4:30 a.m. there was another dumpster fire. It was in the same dumpster as the previous fire. No one was injured in any of the fires and there was no damage to school buildings. Three suspects were captured on school security cameras and led to their arrest.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Inslee greets Wenatchee wildfire networking conference

Gov. Jay Inslee addressed wildfire preparedness agencies in Wenatchee on Wednesday, speaking at a reception for the Washington State Fire Adapted Learning Communities Network. The network, established about four years ago, brings together local communities with state, federal and nonprofit programs that aim to prepare for wildfires, and aid recovery efforts after they happen. “I want to thank you four your efforts,” Inslee told the group. “Because you are saving from fire the most beautiful state in the United States, the state of Washington.” The reception at Pybus Public Market Events Center marked the start of a weekend Learning Network conference. Participants earlier in the day took a Link Transit tour of the Wenatchee Valley, and heard from the Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group working to rebuild after the 2015 mega fires.

Fire destroys two mobile homes in Yakima

Karla Moran was visiting her mother around 8:50 a.m. when she heard an explosion from across the road in the Ridgeview Estates mobile home park. “We came out and everything was engulfed,” Moran said. “It was a hot fire.” When Yakima Fire Department Shift Commander Jennifer Norton arrived, the flames had spread to a second home on the east side, which was burning on the inside. Fire crews kept the fire from spreading to a third home and then concentrated efforts on knocking down the fires in the two burning homes, Norton said. A plume of black smoke from the blaze was visible across the city. Fire crews had flames knocked down by 10 a.m. but remained to douse hot spots. Nobody was in the homes at the time of the fires, Moran said. The cause of the fire is under investigation, Norton said.
Yakima Herald-Republic

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe