Deputy Fire Marshal Near Miss

Tour Commander, 509.625.7100

Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:59 a.m.

During the recent wind event on 1/13/2021, the SFD deployed its on-duty Deputy Fire Marshals to assist with the over 140 calls for electrical lines down following the high winds' devastation. The Deputy Fire Marshals are qualified senior firefighters that are competitively selected to specialize in community risk reduction through code enforcement and engineering. 

In the morning, a Deputy Fire Marshal responded to Rockwood Boulevard and 18th Avenue to relieve Engine 9. Engine 9 was positioned at the intersection to protect an area where a downed pine tree had became entangled with several power lines and a transformer. Their assignment was to limit the risk of electrocution by keep traffic from entering the damaged area and to monitor the situation until Avista's arrival. The Deputy Fire Marshal positioned his vehicle in the same location as Engine 9 once they departed and maintained the public's safety by halting pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the area.

At 12:45, after several hours on scene, a nearby Ponderosa Pine tree (approximately 150' tall) succumbed to the wind gusts fell directly onto the Deputy Fire Marshal's official vehicle while he occupied the driver's seat. 

Despite the significant extent of the vehicle's damage, the Deputy Fire Marshal was uninjured and able to walk away from the event. The vehicle was destroyed.