Washington News

Friday, May 26, 2017

West Pierce paramedic accused of stealing drugs from ambulances

A West Pierce firefighter is accused of stealing various prescription drugs from ambulances and replacing them with saline to support his addiction. The 42-year-old paramedic was arrested Thursday and booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. He is expected to appear in court Friday. It was not immediately clear how long the paramedic is believed to have been stealing drugs. Investigators said he appeared to be keeping the drugs for personal use rather than selling them.
Tacoma News Tribune

Follow Up: Four big challenges Brian Schaeffer will face as Spokane’s new fire chief

Brian Schaeffer was only eight months old when a flame from a scented candle lit the fire that could have killed him. Schaeffer was in his crib in a mobile home in Freeburg, Illinois, when the candle caused the drapes to catch fire. And he was alone. His adoptive mother was across the street, borrowing something from a neighbor. "When I say [my introduction to the fire department] literally started as an infant, it literally started as an infant in every sense of the word," Schaeffer says.
The Inlander

Smoke seen for miles as home burns in north Seattle

Smoke was seen for miles Thursday as firefighters doused flames at a home in Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood. The fire was caused by spontaneous combustion from oil staining rags and was deeded accidental, fire officials said. The estimated total loss due to the fire, including damage to an adjacent home, is $310,000. The house is in the 1200 block of Northeast 94th Street. The owners were home when the fire started but escaped without injury. It's not clear what sparked the blaze.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Hairspray can explodes in Vancouver woman’s hot car, breaking through windshield

A can of hairspray shattered a Vancouver woman’s windshield earlier this week, and firefighters say the intense heat inside her parked car was likely to blame. Portland Fire & Rescue said many other everyday items you might leave inside your car could turn dangerous as temperatures heat up. Karmen Ayres said she noticed the can embedded in her windshield Tuesday when she walked to her car after work.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

New Spokane fire chief making response times top priority

When you’re in trouble and every second counts – will help reach you in time? In Spokane, the distance of just a few blocks can double the amount of minutes it takes for first responders to arrive. But Wednesday, there’s a new fire chief in town and he’s making response times one of his top priorities. Chief Brian Schaeffer has been with the department since 2005 and with his new role, he’s working to fix disparities in how fast a fire crew can get to you. The Primary Stake holder in all of this is the community and that’s going to be our focus.
KAYU-TV MyFox Spokane

Fire in Chelan County now 78 percent contained

A wildfire burning at a popular Washington state hiking and skiing destination is largely under control after burning for two days. Northwest Incident Management Team spokesman Brendan Cowan says the fire near the town of Leavenworth was 78 percent contained Thursday morning. No injuries have been reported and no structures have been damaged. The fire started Tuesday about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) north of the town in an old timber storage area. The fire was burning on about 40 acres (162,000 square meters) at its peak. Leavenworth is a gateway to Wenatchee National Forest where many people have getaway homes.
KAYU-TV MyFox Spokane

Man critically injured in Tacoma apartment fire

A man has been critically injured in a fire at a Tacoma apartment Thursday. The fire broke out around 6:30 a.m. in an 11th floor unit at the Orion Apartments on St. Helens Avenue, according to Joe Meinecke with Tacoma Fire. Firefighters arrived to find the apartment unit full of smoke, but credit a sprinkler system from keeping the fire from spreading to adjacent units and helping firefighters douse the flames.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Kittitas County moves fire marshal under CDS Department

Kittitas County will move the fire marshal position under Community Development Services starting June 1. The move comes after the county failed to find a replacement for the fire marshal position in 2016, Commissioner Laura Osiadacz said. The county also considered contracting out fire marshal services with Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue, but decided consolidation made more sense. “Either the applicants weren’t qualified or they decided there was another opportunity they wanted to take,” Osiadacz said. “(This) just makes the most sense and be able to utilize staff here in the county to provide the best services.”
Ellensburg Daily Record

Neighbors evacuated after man pours several gallons of gasoline on floor of Kent home

Several homes in Kent were evacuated Wednesday night after reports that a man had poured gasoline all over his house. It started as a call to Kent Police about possible person in crisis, at a home on 134th Place SE around 7:00 p.m. Firefighters and police discovered the floor of a home had been saturated with three to five gallons of gasoline by the occupant. Officers were able to get the man inside the home to come out peacefully.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Firefighters stop towering brush fire from spreading to structures at Honeywell plant in Spokane Valley

A wall of flame shut down Sullivan Road outside the Spokane Valley Honeywell plant and prompted a heavy response from the Spokane Valley Fire Department Wednesday afternoon. The fire consumed a long row of tall arborvitae bushes that lined the road. When crews arrived the bushes were a wall of flame and embers were blowing across the busy road, said fire department spokeswoman Melanie Rose. “We responded with a lot of units right away because of Honeywell and the types of hazardous chemicals they have,” she said.
Spokane Spokesman-Review

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