On February 22nd Newman Lake Fire and Rescue (NLFR) responded to an Airplane Hangar with a fire in the attic space.
In spite of the efforts of NLFR personnel and mutual aid units from Hauser, Kootenai, and Spokane Valley fire departments it was a total loss. The cold weather, a wind chill putting the temperature well below zero, and wind gusts of 14 to 22 mph played a definitive role in our attempts to save the building. Another major contributing factor was the lack of manpower available to respond from NLFR.
NLFR did not have any personnel working a scheduled shift at the main fire station, so response was delayed by about 15 minutes. The first arriving fire engine was Spokane Valley Engine 3 which responded from Liberty Lake. Approximately 10 minutes later the fire was through the roof of the hangar. With the roof structure now jeopardized the fire was deemed too dangerous to fight from the inside, so an exterior firefight was implemented.
This fire reinforces NLFR’s desire to improve our staffing at the main station (Station 1).
Approximately 55%-60% of our emergency calls occur during the weekday, 6am to 6pm, when the bulk of the Community Volunteers are out of the community working at their full-time jobs. NLFR is working to add more Community Volunteers, add two full-time firefighters, add 5-9 more Shift Volunteers, and add 4 more Resident Volunteers.
If you live in the community, we could really use you as a volunteer firefighter!