Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Carbon monoxide detectors sound alarms

The Spokane Valley Fire Department Administration Building is seen. (The Spokesman-Review)

Originally published by THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW

The week of Jan. 4-10 was a fairly quiet one for crews with the Spokane Valley Fire Department, but there was one constant. Each week, including this week, typically includes calls from people reporting that their carbon monoxide detectors are sounding.

What many people don’t realize is that carbon monoxide detectors expire and as they approach their “end of life” they start beeping every 30 seconds and replacing the battery does not stop the alarm.

People think they are having a carbon monoxide leak and call the fire department.

Usually, fire department crews find no issues and advise residents to get new CO alarms. But this week, CO alarms sounded in a home and there was an issue that could have been deadly for the residents if not detected by the monitors.

Crews were called to a home in the 14900 block of East Wabash Court at 8:09 a.m. on Jan. 9. Everyone inside had evacuated, and the homeowner reported that three CO alarms were sounding. Firefighters went inside with their masks on and gas monitors, which measured gas levels at 20 parts per million near the front door and levels of 45 ppm near the furnace.

Avista Utilities was called to help with the furnace’s natural gas issue. The family did not suffer any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other calls, Jan. 4-10

Jan. 5: A fire alarm sounded in the 11100 block of East 17th Avenue at 11:51 a.m. The alarm was set off by vaping. A rear-ending car crash was reported in the 18700 block of East Sprague Avenue at 4:03 p.m. The driver causing the accident may have been having a medical issue.

Jan. 6: A caller reported accidentally locking her child inside her car in the 13900 block of East Indiana Avenue at 3:23 p.m. Crews were able to open the door and free the child.

Jan. 8: A garage fire was reported in the 7600 block of East Mission Avenue at 9:10 a.m. The first arriving crew found multiple people standing around an open garage door with light smoke coming from inside. The smoke was coming from a small fire in a garbage can. The fire was put out before it could spread and damage the garage. A possible stove fire was reported in the 3000 block of South Pines Road at 12:39 p.m. The smoke was traced to faulty wiring at the back of the oven. A woman reported accidentally locking her 2-year-old child inside her car in the 5000 block of East Sprague Avenue at 12:47 p.m. The crew was able to get inside the car.

Jan. 9: A caller reported accidentally locking their 3-year-old child inside their car in the 15500 block of East Broadway Avenue. The crew was able to unlock the car. A barbecue fire was reported in the 12700 block of East Mansfield Avenue at 7:30 p.m. When crews arrived, the barbecue had been shut down and there was no fire. A small fire was reported behind the Walmart east of Sullivan Road at 8:44 p.m. Crews found a smoldering campfire and put it out.

Jan. 10: A small camp fire was reported in the area behind the Walmart east of Sullivan Road at 7:28 a.m. The fire was put out. A tree was reported on fire in the 4700 block of East Third Avenue at 7:33 a.m. A homeless camp had caught on fire. A smoke alarm sounded in a building in the 1300 block of North Pines Road at 7:50 a.m. The caller reported light smoke in the boiler room in the basement and said the boiler had been shut off. There was light smoke coming from the boiler when crews arrived, and the top of the boiler was hot. On the advice of a technician, the crew turned off the boiler’s gas and water pumps. A suspected arson fire was reported in a dumpster in the 9600 block of East Trent Avenue at 1:57 p.m. A caller reported seeing a woman set the fire. The fire was put out before causing damage to nearby buildings. A person was reported to be stuck in an elevator in the 1300 block of North Whitman Lane at 9:57 p.m. Firefighters were able to get into the building and a maintenance worker was able to open the elevator.

By the numbers: Firefighters responded to 374 calls the week of Jan. 4-10, including 320 calls for emergency medical services. Other responses included 10 car crashes, numerous false alarms and two reports of downed power lines.