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VRFA Blotter: Lithium Battery Spontaneously Combusts, Starts Vehicle Fire


The Valley Regional Fire Authority responded to 288 calls for service for the week of December 20-26, 2021. Year to Date our Valley Professional Firefighters have responded to a total of 14,902 calls. This is a 15.1% increase from 2020 (12,946).

Call Breakdown:

217 (75%) were aid calls. Total aid calls in 2021 so far are 11,030 up 15.5%, compared to 2020’s (9,552).

6 (2%) were fire calls. The number of fire calls is up by 12.2%, with 2021 having 495 calls and 2020 having 441.


65 (23%) were calls categorized as other. The number of other calls is up (14.4%), with 2021 currently at 3,312 calls compared to 2020’s 2,893. Other calls include water rescues, hazmat calls, and ladder requests.

VRFA Calls for Service

  • Aid Call: (Auburn) On Monday, December 20 at 11:30 a.m., firefighters responded to an ill male with a decreased level of consciousness and fever. The patient was evaluated at the scene and then transported to MultiCare Auburn Medical Center by private ambulance.
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  • CO Alarm: (Auburn) On Tuesday, December 21st at 5:15 p.m., firefighters responded to reports of a residential CO alarm. Firefighters arrived to find a family, outside of the apartment, with no symptoms of CO exposure. Firefighters found a detector alarming and checked the apartment with a 4 Gas meter and found no unusual readings. The detector was determined to be faulty and building maintenance was contacted for a replacement detector.
  • Vehicle Fire: (Auburn) On Wednesday, December 22 at 7:40 a.m., firefighters responded to a vehicle fire at a residence.  On arrival the fire had gone out on its own.  It appeared the cause had been a cordless tool’s lithium battery in the backseat that had spontaneously combusted.
  • Aid Call: (Auburn) On Thursday, December 23rd at 12:53 p.m., firefighters responded to an adult male experiencing severe flank pain. The patient was evaluated and transported to MultiCare Auburn Medical Center by private ambulance.
  • Aid Call: (Lea Hill) On Friday, December 24 at 1:30 p.m., firefighters assisted a female that was 37 weeks pregnant having contractions. Personnel treated the patient and a private ambulance transported her to Valley Medical Center.
  • Vehicle Fire: (Auburn) On Saturday, December 25 at 6:35 a.m., firefighters responded to a fully involved vehicle fire.  Firefighters arrived to find a minivan that was fully involved.  Firefighters stretched a 1 ¾” hose line and extinguished the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
  • Vehicle vs. Pedestrian: (Auburn) On Sunday, December 26 at 2:02 p.m., firefighters responded to a vehicle versus pedestrian accident at 15th St NW and Terrace Dr NW. They found two patients that had been struck by another vehicle while standing beside their vehicle that was stuck in the snow.  Firefighters and King County Medics assessed the patients and treated them on scene. Both were transported to local hospitals for further treatment.
  • Motor Vehicle Collision: (Lakeland Hills) On Sunday, December 26 at 10:58 a.m., while responding to an aid call, came across multiple vehicles that’s had become stuck on Kersey Way due to the icy conditions. Personnel spent about 2 hours trying to clear the spun out cars out of the road so that Auburn Public Works could get their sanding trucks and plows up the hill. No occupants of the vehicles were injured.

Fire Investigations

  • On 12/25/21, an accidental passenger vehicle fire occurred in the 800 block of 8th ST SE in the
    City of Auburn. A female victim perished at the scene and a joint Investigation with Auburn PD
    is being conducted. The vehicle was considered a total loss.


  • 11 responses
  • 13 referrals
  • 2 new enrollment
  • 5 enrollments closed
  • 44 total patients enrolled

The Community Assistance, Referrals, and Education Services (CARES) is a joint program between VRFA,  King County Emergency Medical Services division South King Fire & Rescue, Enumclaw, and Mountainview Fire and Rescue departments. Each CARES response vehicle is staffed 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. by one firefighter from each department and a social worker. The CARES unit is sent on less emergent calls in non-transport capable vehicles to provide basic patient evaluation, assistance, specific basic life support treatment on scene, and arrange for transport if medically necessary. CARES also referred patients to community services where needed.

The above information was provided by the Valley Regional Fire Authority.


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