Washington News

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Man dies in Monday evening house fire in Moses Lake

A man died in a fire Monday evening at a mobile home park in Moses Lake. Firefighters responded to the structure fire about 6:30 p.m. in the 1900 block of West Marina Drive and arrived to flames shooting out the roof of a residence, making it unsafe for firefighters to immediately enter the home, according to Moses Lake Fire Chief Brett Bastian. The man was found dead near where the fire appeared to have started, Bastian said. Moses Lake police say the man was disabled and lived alone. The body is in the care of the Grant County Coroner's Office and an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Memorial service held for beloved Lacey firefighter

Dozens of firefighters and community members packed Marcus Pavilion at Saint Martin's University on Sunday to pay their respects to a Lacey firefighter who died last month. Crystal Murphy,40, was a firefighter for Lacey Fire Disctrict 3. A long row of first responders saluted as a vehicle carrying Murphy's fire helmet and uniform arrived at the memorial. "These past almost three weeks have been some of the most emotionally trying and sad for us as a Lacey fire family," said Lacey Fire District 3 Chief Steve Brooks. "And yet, we're still here together, as a family, walking through this and we could not do that without the love and support that all of you have provided."
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Fire guts Kelso home; kids flee through window

Two children escaped by jumping through a window and a black terrier survived a Kelso house fire by hiding under a couch Monday morning, according to fire officials. Five others, including four adults and one teenager, also fled the fire, which gutted a one-story home at 1706 Bloyd St. in the Butler Acres neighborhood. Two occupants were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, but no one was seriously injured, said Longview Fire Battalion Chief Troy Buzalsky. The cause of the fire was not immediately known, and an official from Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue said it was still under investigation Monday afternoon.
Longview Daily News

Spokane Valley firefighters meet someone they saved using pit crew CPR

Everyday, firefighters respond to many different calls. But it’s not everyday that they get to reunite with the people they help. On Sunday, Matt Kovich, a firefighter with Spokane Valley Fire Department, was at a fundraiser for the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb. The event takes place in March and raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. While there, Matt met someone who had a story he didn’t expect to hear. “We normally don't get to see the outcome of the patients we get called to,” he says. A woman named Maria approached them. He was one of the firefighters who responded to her home last year for a cardiac arrest. Through pit crew CPR, they were able to get her heart started after 25 minutes. Matt is just glad he was able to meet her. “It humbling to get to meet someone you were able to help in a significant way,” he says.

West Seattle fire leaves man in critical condition

A man was critically injured Monday morning in a house fire in West Seattle. Firefighters were called just before 8 a.m. to the house at 4022 39th Ave. S.W. They found a large column of smoke from the home, and neighbors pointed out to firefighters where the man who lived there slept. "I was on my way to work and saw the activity and pulled over to see if I could help," said neighbor Ian Reid. "The house really burned quickly -- it really engulfed itself really quickly. By the time I went around and came back - it was 5 or 6 minutes and the fire had gone halfway through the house."
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Yakima City Council to consider plan to add firefighters

To help ease overtime costs, the Yakima Fire Department hopes to hire and begin training four new firefighters as early as next month. “When we have people out with the flu or a strained back or other injuries on any given day — that reduces our capacity,” said Yakima Fire Chief Bob Stewart. “What happens is we have to go into our overtime funding to fill those vacant positions. These new firefighters provide us a buffer before we have to go use our overtime funding.” The plan, however, must still be approved by the Yakima City Council. Three of the four would be partly funded through 2020 by a federal grant. The fourth would fill an already-existing and budgeted vacancy. The city of Yakima was awarded the grant in August, but didn’t immediately accept it because hiring firefighters would have hurt the city’s effort to rebuild ailing reserve funds, Stewart said.
Yakima Herald-Republic

Friday, January 12, 2018

Fire burns structure at old Pacific Rock Products quarry in east Vancouver

Firefighters responded to a fire in a building at the former Pacific Rock Products quarry in east Vancouver Thursday night. Firefighters were called to the quarry, at 18208 S.E. 1st St., around 7:50 p.m. Vancouver Fire Department spokesman Mark Johnston said that evening firefighters had the fire, which burned in a mobile trailer used as office space, under control by about 8:30. There were no workers on site, he said. The Vancouver Fire Marshal’s Office was investigating.
Vancouver Columbian

DNR Investigation: Yakima Police SWAT officers started South Wenas Fire

More than six months after the South Wenas Fire destroyed thousands of acres just north of Selah, we are finally learning what caused the fire. The South Wenas Fire was one of the bigger fires we saw over the summer in the Yakima area. It torched nearly 3,000 acres and threatened homes. According to the Department of Natural Resources investigation, the day the fire started, two SWAT officers with the Yakima Police Department were shooting on private property for a qualification test. The report says bullets from the live fire exercise hit old farm equipment and ricocheted. "One of these bullet projectiles, whether from a ricochet or a direct impact, severed a power line owned by Pacific Power."

Feds: Everett ambulance overbilling settlement ‘sends a clear message’

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a statement on Thursday condemning the Everett Fire Department for past practices of overbilling for ambulance rides. A settlement of more than $200,000 became final Thursday, according to the news release. The Herald reported the terms of the draft agreement on Dec. 29. “This settlement, with Everett paying two times the damages they caused as allowed under federal law, sends a clear message to others who may try to ‘fudge’ the paperwork to get higher reimbursement rates than allowed,” U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said in the news release. The city has said there were billing problems discovered but not “willful wrongdoing.” The investigation focused on 2010 through 2016. It found the city had charged public insurers — mainly Medicaid and Medicare — a higher rate for advanced medical care for less-serious 911 calls, so long as a paramedic responded.
Everett Herald - Metered Site

Fire Protection Class 4 Rating Retained by Snoqualmie Fire Department

The Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau (WSRB) recently evaluated the Snoqualmie Fire Department – one of 677 fire protection agencies – and rated it in the top 20% for fire protection and suppression capabilities. This year, the Snoqualmie Fire Department retained its overall Class 4 rating, which it has held since 2013. The department’s total deficiency-point-count decreased from last year in the areas of water supply, fire department, and emergency communications. Evaluation ratings range from 1 (exemplary fire protection capabilities) to 10 (insufficient for insurance credit).
Snoqualmie, WA

Seattle firefighters try to save sinking house boat near Seward Park

Seattle Fire crews are attempting to save a small house boat near Seward Park. Crews responded to reports of the sinking boat near the 9000 block of Seward Park Ave. South around 11 a.m. Firefighters are pumping water out of the craft in a photo tweeted out by the department. No additional information has been released about the cause of the sinking or how many people are potentially displaced.

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