Pullman Fire Department responds to Fourth of July fiascos

Three fires occurred in town; one man in critical condition



Two unidentified adult males were involved in accidents near Tekoa and Colfax.

VICTORIA GIOMI, Evergreen reporter

Amid the Fourth of July festivities, Pullman Fire Department responded to three fires and a firework-related injury.

The first fire the department responded to took place on Southeast Bypass Drive, which is near Walmart. It burned bushes and dry grass and only spread about an acre, said Ryan Scharnhorst, assistant chief of operations.

The second fire took place shortly after the Pullman firework display on Southwest Harrison Street. It burned a large evergreen tree, Scharnhorst said.

“[The fire] got into the underscore of a large evergreen tree and did a single tree torch … and burned the whole tree,” he said. “It looked like a big candle.”

The fire also caused damage to two power poles in the surrounding area. Scharnhorst said the poles will need to be inspected and repaired, but the estimated cost of damage is unknown.

The final fire was relatively small and was put out fairly quickly with buckets of water, he said.

The department also responded to a firework-related injury that left a man in critical condition. The man suffered a large gash and a severed artery on his upper right leg that caused him to lose a potentially fatal amount of blood, Scharnhorst said.

“[Police] officers arrived, saw the life-threatening injury to the individual and pulled out their personal tourniquet … and applied it to his leg to control the bleeding.”

The victim was then taken to Pullman Regional Hospital and eventually airlifted to Spokane for a higher level of care. His condition is currently unknown.