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Friday blaze destroys three buildings west of Cheney


Last updated 6/27/2019 at 8:38am

A fire that apparently started in an outbuilding between Cheney and Tyler destroyed three structures west of Cheney and spread to nearby grasslands before being contained Friday afternoon, June 21.

Spokane County Fire District 3 Division Chief Dustin Flock said they received a call at 10:34 a.m. of a structure fire at a residence on State Route 904 near Koski Park Lane about four miles west/southwest of Cheney. The 10-foot-by10-foot structure was fully engulfed when crews arrived and had spread to another outbuilding and a single-wide trailer converted to a shop, Flock added.

While slight winds and relatively mild temperatures were favorable to firefighters, the location of the flames was not.

“The problem was those structures sat under a cluster of trees and when it (fire) torched those trees, that was when the fire got out (into the surrounding grasslands),” Flock said.

Personnel and apparatus from District 3 stations in Cheney, Medical Lake, Four Lakes, Amber/Williams Lake and Tyler responded — apparatus that included two attack engines and five pumper/tenders. Flock said once the fire reached the wildlands, additional resources from the Department of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge were also brought into the action.

All three structures and about a quarter of an acre of wildlands were burned before the fire was brought under control in the early afternoon, with firefighters from District 3 remaining onsite until 5:30 p.m. A residence on the property was threatened but not damaged.

Flock said one of the residents suffered minor burns while attempting to fight the fire with a hose, but was treated onsite and not transported. Eventually, Flock said she did seek additional medical care by using a private vehicle.

Property records on the county’s SCOUT website indicate the property is owned by Randy and Lavertta Lawrence, and a social media post Saturday by a family member confirmed that. The member said the house, family and animals were safe and thanked everyone for their prayers and support, requesting privacy at this time.

Flock said a cause for the fire had not been determined at press time and was not likely to be since the blaze started in the 10-foot-by-10-foot outbuilding.

“I think that area is pretty much gone,” he added.

John McCallum can be reached at


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