Washington News

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Active shooter training in Moses Lake tests agency proficiency, cooperation

Around 6 p.m. Thursday, shots rang out dully from inside the Job Corps gym. Students flooded out from the emergency exits, scrambling around each other. A siren went off and the loudspeakers announced that an active shooter was on campus. This was the second such annual exercise that Job Corps has conducted, providing an opportunity for a number of different agencies to be put through the wringer with little information, under the worst of circumstances. The Moses Lake Police Department, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, private ambulance service American Medical Response, Grant County Fire District No. 5 and Multi Agency Communications Center all took part in the exercise. “Everyone can recall participating in school fire drills while growing up,” said Grant County Sheriff’s spokesperson Kyle Foreman.
Columbia Basin Herald

Lacey fire started in crawl space and spread to master bedroom, fire official says

A residence in the 7300 block of Autumn Park Drive Southeast was damaged by fire Monday night, according to East Olympia Fire District 6. That address is south of the Horizon Pointe neighborhood in Lacey. Fire crews were dispatched about 9 p.m. and discovered a fire that had started in or near the crawl space of the home, assistant fire chief Mark Nelson said. The fire then burned through the floor and spread to a master bedroom. However, fire crews were able to contain the fire to the bedroom, he said. The residents of the house and their pets were able to get out safely, Nelson said. The fire is under investigation.

Boat overturns in Pierce County, with 2 men in the water for an hour before help came

Two men were rescued from the water near Day Island Sunday after their boat capsized and left them treading water for more than an hour, according to West Pierce Fire & Rescue. A passerby spotted one man in the water about 5 p.m. and helped him to a nearby dock, then called 911. Due to a language barrier, fire crews did not immediately know there was another man still in the water. Firefighters learned the boat had overturned between Salmon Beach and the Narrows Bridge around 4 p.m. Armed with new information, a fire boat quickly found the capsized boat near Chambers Bay. No one was on board. The second man was found in the water about a quarter mile from the boat. A diver and rescue swimmer were about able to pull the man to the fire boat. He was conscious, but had to be hospitalized for exposure.
Tacoma News Tribune - Metered Site

Cause of Pasco apartment blaze remains a mystery to investigators

The cause of a fire that damaged a 1976-built Pasco apartment Sunday remains a mystery. The fire at Carjo Apartments rendered one second-floor unit unlivable, the Pasco Fire Department said. The fire broke out near the roof line on the facade of Building E at the 13-unit apartment complex at 2524 W. Sylvester Ave. Residents used an extinguisher and hoses to fight the flames until city fire crews arrived from the Pasco and Kennewick fire departments and Franklin County Fire District 3. Crews remained on site for about 45 minutes. Ben Shearer, spokesman for the Pasco fire department, said investigators were unable to identify a source of the blaze. There were no electrical or other utilities in the area and no evidence of gasoline, matches or other ignition sources. No one was hurt but one person will have to find another place to live because firefighters broke through the roof to confirm flames hadn’t spread through the attic.
Mid-Columbia Tri-City Herald

Monday, April 22, 2019

Fire Burns Reeds on West End of Wapato Lake

VIDEO: Manson Firefighters responded to a fire on Wapato Lake late Friday night that was burning in the reeds. According to the department, the fire was burning on the west end of the lake and, at points, was inaccessible by crews. It was contained a little after 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning despite moving into brush and grass to the north. Due to where the fire was burning, crews focused on protecting Kamei Resort, where a number of camp trailers were. Staff were able to move trailers away from the edge of the campground before the fire reached them. A burn out operation was done on the north side of the fire at a break in the reed beds which allowed firefighters to contain the northeastern progression of the fire.
KPQ-AM 560

Washington National Guard fighting wildfires get pay raise under new law

The next time the Washington National Guard gets called to help fight wildfires in the state they will get a raise. Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law Friday morning allowing guardsmen to get $12 per hour, the state's minimum wage. For the last 30 years, they received a military salary based on a formula involving the federal minimum wage, which paid them almost $11 an hour last year. The Washington National Guard hopes the change will keep guardsmen in border communities from joining the national guard in states like Oregon and Idaho where the pay is higher. The bill to raise wages for guardsmen was one of more than 30 signed into law Friday. Calling up the national guard for fires in Washington used to be a rarity, but they have been sent to wildfires every summer since 2014.
King 5 News

East County Fire and Rescue places levy lid lift on August ballot

The East County Fire and Rescue Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to place a one-year fire levy lid lift on the August primary election ballot, which, if approved, would allow the district to restore the levy rate for emergency services to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The levy rate for 2019 is at $1.16 per $1,000 of assessed value, according to a release from the department. State law allows fire districts to set 1 percent revenue increases per year, but the raw amount of money incoming has declined with inflation and rising property values. As those costs rose, the levy rate declined to not exceed that 1 percent limit. The district attempted to run a levy lid lift in November, but it failed with 53.38 percent of voters coming out against the tax increase. The failure of the lid lift led commissioners to terminate an interlocal agreement with the city of Camas for shared service of Camas-Washougal Fire Department Chief Nick Swinhart back in January. The last time voters in East County Fire and Rescue approved a fire levy lid lift was in 2008, according to a release from the department.
Vancouver Columbian - Metered Site

Natural gas leak forces homes to be evacuated in south Seattle

Several homes were evacuated Monday morning after a natural gas leak in south Seattle. According to the Seattle Fire Department, crews were called shortly after 8:00 a.m. to a home in the 10300 block of Rainier Ave. S. Nearby homes in that block and the 10400 block were evacuated as a precaution, firefighters said. Puget Sound Energy crews were at the scene working to contain the leak. Police said to expect road closures in the area.

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