Washington News

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hundreds line procession route to honor Lynden fire chief

Hundreds of people lined the streets of downtown Lynden Tuesday afternoon to honor the city’s fire chief. Robert Spinner died from an apparent heart attack late last week, according to the Whatcom County Fire Chief's Association (WCFCA). On Tuesday, the Lynden Fire Department escorted his body from the Whatcom County Medical Examiner's Office in Bellingham to Gillies Funeral Home in Lynden. Losing someone like Spinner hits just about everyone in a city of Lynden's size, one resident said along the procession route. "To have a loss such as this is just such a deep impact," said Kristin Stadt. Stadt felt it as she waited for the procession to make its way to downtown. The loss of the city’s fire chief hits home for her. Her father is also a firefighter, she said.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Elderly woman found safe after early morning house fire in Federal Way

A 92-year-old woman who originally was reported missing early Wednesday after her home was gutted by fire has now been located alive and safe. Fire crews rushed to the scene, in the 700 block of SW 310th Street, at about 5 a.m. after receiving a 911 call about smoke and flames spewing from the single-story home, said Deputy Battalion Chief Dave Mataftin of South King Fire & Rescue. The home already was about 50 percent ablaze when crews arrived. Firefighters attacked the flames while another crew searched the areas of the home not already gutted by fire. No victim was found in that area of the home.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Benton, Franklin County fire departments are in desperate need of volunteers

Firefighters said the number of calls are going up, but their fighting force is going down. Both Benton and Franklin Counties rely heavily on volunteer firefighters and need more. "Without the volunteers we couldn't survive," Benton County Fire District #4 Captain Ed Dunbar said. Dunbar started as a volunteer firefighter in 1983, and 20 years later he turned firefighting into a career. "It is truly a calling and a passion," he said. However, with a high turnover rate in recent years, he said the need for volunteer firefighters has grown for agencies throughout the region. "Without the depth of the volunteers we can't serve our community like we need to,” he admitted. The fire departments are spread thin and he said they're only getting busier, with the volume of calls for Fire District 4 hitting 1,400 last year.

Man falls from Camas waterfall, rescued by raft, ropes

Firefighters used a raft and ropes system to rescue a man who suffered possibly serious injuries after falling from a waterfall near Round Lake in Camas. A man, whose name was not released but described as in his 30s, fell from the falls in the area known as the Potholes at about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Camas-Washougal Fire Department Battalion Chief Greg Payne said. Friends found him unconscious with his head underwater, Payne said, but his friend were able to help get him to a rock shelf underneath the falls. Firefighters from Camas-Washougal and Vancouver Fire Department responded as well as members from the Clark County regional technical rescue team, Payne said. A firefighter swam to the man, who was surrounded pools of water that were about 40 feet wide and 15 feet deep, Payne said.
Vancouver Columbian

Yakima firefighters and police investigating three suspicious fires

Yakima Police and Firefighters are investigating three suspicious fires that started Wednesday morning. Firefighters tell NBC Right Now they were originally responding to a dumpster fire near Walnut and 7th Street around 4:00 a.m. On their way, they found a house on fire on the 200 Block of South 7th Street. Flames were burning on the outside of the camper so they upgraded it to a full structure fire. The fire ended up spreading to the attic. PP&L also responded to shut off power because of arching power lines on the ground. While firefighters were responding to that, witnesses responded to a dumpster fire on the 100 Blk. of S. 6th St. Witnesses who called the fire in closed the lid to help slow the flames. While on the scene of that, another dumpster fire broke out on the 100 Blk. of South 7th St. Firefighters easily got this under control.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Firefighters standing vigil over body of Lynden fire chief

In a tradition as old as the service, firefighters from Lynden and around Whatcom County are standing vigil over the body of Lynden interim Fire Chief Robert Spinner, who died Friday of an apparent heart attack while on duty. It is the first line of duty death in the Lynden Fire Department’s 107-year history, according to a statement issued late Sunday, and the second on-duty firefighter death in Whatcom County – the other line of duty firefighter death was in March 1950, when Whatcom County Fire District 7’s Chief Clyde Eaton suffered fatal burns as a barrel of fuel exploded at a fire. Spinner, 50, was running as part of his daily fitness regimen when he was stricken.
Bellingham Herald - Metered Site

2 killed in Spokane Valley house fire

Authorities are investigating a fire at a home in Spokane Valley. The call came in around 1:42 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities said two bodies were discovered in the home near North Sipple Road and East Indiana Avenue. Melanie Rose with the Spokane Valley Fire Department confirmed the scene has become an active crime scene, and the Spokane County Sheriff's Office will be handling the investigation.

Update: Two under investigation for Mount Vernon fire that killed children

Two children died and three adults were injured in a fire Saturday morning, and now two people who had recently been evicted from the Mount Vernon-area home are in jail for investigation of arson and two counts of first-degree murder. The children were ages 8 and 6, according to the probable cause affidavit. Kimberly Marie Hughes, 32, and Jaramy L. Chism, 24, are both being held on a 72-hour investigative hold. × The fire in the two-story home in the 13000 block of Bay View Road was reported as being fully engulfed in flames about 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
Skagit Valley Herald (GoSkagit.com)

Bills designed to reduce wildfires, add firefighting funding activate this week

Three of the four state bills that have been tooled to prevent the catastrophic wildfire seasons we saw in 2014 and 2015 will take effect this week. State Rep. Tom Dent and Sen. Judy Warnick of Moses Lake were an influence on these bills which passed during the 2017 legislative session. House Bill 1711 requires the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to prioritize money spent on forest treatment to prevent fires. Senate Bill 5546 mandates the state to identify fire-prone lands and create a plan for forest treatment goals by 2023. The third bill, 5198, requires the DNR to present new reports regarding fire retardants, foams and gels, as well as an appropriate way to apply them.

Selah Fire Chief: Slim chance of determining cause of Selah Ridge fire

Investigators say it’s unlikely the cause will ever be determined of a Sunday brush fire believed to have started in a homeless camp near the confluence of the Yakima and Naches rivers that then crested the Selah Ridge. “They disappeared,” Selah Fire Chief Gary Hanna said of those living in the camp. “I don’t even know who they are. It’s going to be difficult to solve.” Firefighters believe the blaze, which was nearly 100 percent contained Monday afternoon, started north of Harlan Landing where homeless people often camp. It quickly spread north and south, engulfing about 500 acres as it moved up the hillside where it could have threatened homes near Lookout Point. Although there were no evacuations, residents of 75 to 100 homes on South Fourth, Fifth and Seventh streets and Lookout Point Drive were advised that the fire was in their area.
Yakima Herald-Republic

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