Archive for May, 2014

Centralia man pleads not guilty to dog breeding violation

Saturday, May 31st, 2014
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Jimmie R. Jemison, left, is represented temporarily on Friday by defense attorney Bob Schroeter in his dog breeding case.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A plea of not guilty was entered yesterday in the case of the Centralia man who was arrested when authorities came to his property and seized 17 puppies and 21 other dogs they found living in filthy conditions in a motorhome.

Jimmie R. Jemison, 49, was in court yesterday afternoon, charged not with animal cruelty as the sheriff’s office expected back on May 1, but with a violation of state law related to dog breeding. And also with obstructing a law enforcement officer.

Both are gross misdemeanors, with maximum penalties of up to a year in jail.

Jemison also asked the court in writing to make the county return his animals. They are being held at the Lewis County Animal Shelter.

Lewis County District Court Judge Michael Roewe denied the petition, based on numerous issued raised by prosecutors indicating the filing was flawed.

The Centralia man leaned on his walker and asked the judge: “What does that mean, do I lose my dogs?”

Judge Roewe told him he needed to ask his attorney that question.

“Can I ask a question? What happens to my dogs,” Jemison said.

“I don’t have the answer,” Roewe replied.

Jemsion told the judge he plans to hire a lawyer.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher told the judge he’d instructed the shelter to hold onto the animals, because they are evidence.

Jemison clearly distressed, put his face in his hands as he sat on a bench outside the courtroom following the hearing.

“My dogs mean everything,” he said, stifling sobs. “I spent seven years coming up with those colors.”

“I’ve lost my family, all I have are my dogs.”

Jemison lives on a $700 a month disability check, he said, on rural property he shares with his brother on the 1600 block of Little Hanaford Road.

Photographs shared by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office after the May 1 visit by deputies, code enforcement and humane officers show a 30-foot motorhome and various outbuildings.

Inside the roughly 30-foot long recreational vehicle, the pictures showed numerous portable kennels, some stacked on top of each other; the sheriff’s office said the animals were were sleeping and eating in their own waste.

Thirty-eight dogs were removed from the motorhome. Jemison says he has a new motorhome, but hadn’t yet gotten it set up.

Other animals on the property – such as chickens, a goat and seven dogs – which were living in clean cages and spaces were left behind.

The allegation was he was breeding puppies in unsanitary conditions.

The animal offense he is charged with is not part of the state criminal code, but part of the state code related to dog breeding, and the requirements that if the animals are kept in an enclosure the majority of the day, certain minimum standards of cleanliness, care and protection must be provided. RCW 16.52.310(2)(c)

Jemison said he spends $170 each month for dog food and doesn’t smoke or drink and suffers from social phobia.

His days are spent, he said, sitting outside in his chair watching his dogs play with the goat.

Every six or seven months when he gets a new litter to sell, he can buy a used car, that will hopefully keep running until the next litter, he said.

“I take care of my dogs, and then they take care of me,” he said.

His friend Ken Smith who drove him to the courthouse in Chehalis agreed Jemison is devoted to his animals, and said he lives in a way that maybe not others would live.

“He takes care of his dogs before himself,” Smith said. “It just happens that four or five dogs all had puppies at the same time.”

Jemison said the reason the deputies found the motorhome’s interior in the condition it was in was because he spent nine days holed up inside, fearing they were coming to take his animals.

The sheriff’s office described Jemison as uncooperative on numerous occasions as attempts were made to investigate the situation, which led to the search warrant.

Jemison said when they arrived that afternoon, he opened his door and was zapped with a Taser and while he was laying on the ground in the mud, his boxer dog got wound up with all the commotion and bit him on the leg.

“They treated me like I killed somebody,” he said.

He wasn’t booked into jail, he was taken to the hospital, where he spent almost 25 days being treated for two wounds he fears may cause him to lose his leg.

Jemison said he was released from Harborview Medical Center on Sunday, and has to visit a wound care doctor daily. It’s painful, he said.

“Because I wouldn’t show them my dogs in the barn,” he said. “That’s why they did the search warrant.”

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Jemison’s property on Little Hanaford Road, on May 1, 2014 / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

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Inside Jemison’s motorhome on Little Hanaford Road, on May 1, 2014 / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

•••

For background, read “RV serving as home, doghouse for nearly 40 canines found near Centralia” from Friday May 2, 2014, here

News brief: Speeding truck crashes, seriously injuring two in Centralia

Saturday, May 31st, 2014
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Police and fire at the scene of accident on North Pearl Street in Centralia that knocked out electricity to the north. / Courtesy photo by Danielle Ziady

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A man and woman were critically injured in a single-vehicle wreck last night at the north end of Centralia that caused a large power outage and sent them by helicopters to regional trauma centers.

Police and aid called about 10:50 p.m. to the intersection of North Pearl Street and Sawall Avenue found a pickup truck against a tree, a male passenger trapped inside and the female driver had been ejected through a window, according to responders.

Riverside Fire Authority says they are both approximately 35 years old.

It appeared the Chevrolet Avalanche was traveling southbound and very fast when it missed a corner, went broadside and rolled multiple times, before striking a stop sign, a utility pole’s guideline and then the tree, according to police and firefighters.

Initial information indicated the driver was found laying in the roadway about 30 feet away, according to Fire Capt. Scott Weinert. Crews used the Jaws of Life to extricate the passenger.

Both were transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, but helicopters from both Life Flight and Airlift Northwest were summoned to fly them to out-of-the-area hospitals, according to Weinert.

The truck was heavily damaged, according to the fire department.

Further information about the identities of the pair was not readily available. Centralia Police Department Sgt. Brian Warren said troopers from the Washington State Patrol took over the investigation. Excessive speed and alcohol are suspected, according to police.

Breaking news: Tacoma 5-year-old’s body recovered from Cispus River

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Updated at 11:18 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The body of the 5-year-old Tacoma boy was retrieved from the Cispus River tonight, four days after he went into the water on his motorcycle.

The child was camping with his family over the weekend about 10 and a half miles south of Randle, along Forest Service Road 120, off Forest Service Road 23.

The sheriff’s office said little Drake J. Ostenson was wearing full riding gear and a helmet, and it appeared he got too close to the river bank and went in while his parents backs were turned on Monday.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said his body was recovered about 8 p.m. by deputies with the swift water rescue team.

The water had dropped enough his body was visible, lodged in the same log jam in the middle of the river where they suspected he was, according to the sheriff’s office.

It was his parents that were out walking the banks of the river who spotted him, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

“They came back before dark to check once again, saw the red and called us,” she said.

The recovery effort took about two hours, according to Brown.

Search and rescue teams looked for Drake all day Tuesday and much of Wednesday before concluding his body may very well have been tangled in a log jam and they would need to wait until the river level dropped to make the recovery.

On Thursday, the sheriff’s office announced they’d formulated a plan to try to get a helicopter to help them take another look from above next week and until then, would check the area frequently and monitor the water gauges.

Today, Sheriff Steve Mansfield said he was concerned when he heard numerous people were planning to search on their own this weekend, and said he’d secured some assistance from outside the county to conduct another search tomorrow.

Members of Lewis County Fire District 14, Packwood Search and Rescue and the Department of Fish and Wildlife all assisted in the recovery, according to Brown.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Updated

ARSON IN ONALASKA

• A 14-year-old boy was arrested last night after a fire that burned down what was called by some the cashier’s shack at the former garbage transfer station in Onalaska. Firefighters were called just before 6 p.m. to the area near Alexander Road and Second streets. The small metal building had been stuffed with mattresses; it’s an area where the fire department trained, according to Lewis County Fire District 1 Chief Mark Conner. A deputy called out about 6:30 p.m. noted the smoldering remains of a service building, which the sheriff’s office described as 10 feet by 10 feet in size. The sheriff’s office says through its investigation they learned the boy had left the Onalaska Community Youth Center with a friend to go look at the graffiti at the transfer station and while there, lit a cardboard box on fire and tossed it into the building. The boy was talked to and then booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Justice Center for second-degree arson, according to Chief Criminal Deputy Stacy Brown. Brown says the loss is $1,000.

DUI WRECK

• A 50-year-old Centralia man was arrested for driving under the influence after his mini van ran into a parked vehicle which took out a light pole on the 800 block of North Tower Avenue yesterday afternoon. Two children were traveling with Camilo A. Gomez, according to the police, leading to his arrest for two counts of reckless endangerment as well. Officers responding to the 5:30 p.m. collision discovered Gomez’s license was suspended and he had an outstanding warrant related to driving under the influence, according to the Centralia Police Department. No injuries were reported. Gomez was booked into the Lewis County Jail,  according to police.

SHERIFF: INMATE SPITS ON COUNSELOR’S FACE

• A Lewis County Jail inmate who reportedly punched a jail guard in the face on Sunday is in more trouble after he allegedly spit in the eye of a mental health worker at the Chehalis facility yesterday. The sheriff’s office said it was about 1 p.m. when the 31-year-old Olympia man who works for Cascade Mental Health attempted to talk with Drake A. Lorber . The 24-year-old Chehalis resident responded by spitting, which caught the man on his mouth as well, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Since he’s already incarcerated, the case will be referred to prosecutors for a possible charge of third-degree assault, according to the sheriff’s office.

DRUGS

• A 45-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine when a meth pipe was found in his pocket during his arrest last night for allegedly stealing two beers from the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Officers called about 8 p.m. were told Scott D. Robertson was being a problem for security personnel, according to the Centralia Police Department. Robertson was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

STOLEN MEDS

• Centralia police were called just after 4 p.m. yesterday to the 500 block of North Buckner Street about the theft of medication.

VANDALISM

• Someone threw two rocks through the windows of a car while it was parked in front of its owner’s house on the 600 block of M Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 2:15 a.m. today.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, obstruction; responses for alarms, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

News brief: Centralia firefighter staffing challenges hit Harrison station

Friday, May 30th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Riverside Fire Authority Chief Mike Kytta notified dispatchers and neighboring fire departments this morning he essentially closed the Harrison Avenue fire station for the day, because he’s short staffed.

One firefighter is on vacation and another called in sick, Kytta said.

Kytta said he doesn’t have money in his budget to pay overtime to bring in someone on their day off.

Three firefighters will be on duty at the Pearl Street station during the 24-hour period that ends tomorrow at 8 a.m., according to Kytta. They will respond to district calls, he said.

The Harrison Avenue station had its usual administrative personnel on duty, during regular business hours.

“It happened once earlier this year,” Kytta said. “Unfortunately we’re down enough staff right now, here it is. Here’s the reality of it.”

The chief expected to have volunteers at the station overnight.

Riverside Fire Authority, which protects a population of 28,000 spanning more than 180 square miles in and around Centralia, is working this year with a budget of $3.9 million, compared to last year’s of $4.6 million.

The primary reason for the reduction is related to the fairly sudden change in taxes contributed by TransAlta’s power plant, as it winds down coal burning operations.

If their predictions about next year’s budget are realized, they will lose another $600,000 in revenue, Kytta said this morning.

The department is scheduled to lay off two more firefighters in July, making a total of six positions lost since the beginning of the year. Today, they have 23 paid firefighters.

Centralia police uncover hash oil processing lab in residence near college

Friday, May 30th, 2014
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The Centralia Police Department’s special anti-crime team found four plastic bins plus some garbage bags filled with marijuana they say was to be made into hash oil. / Courtesy photo by Centralia Police Department

Updated at 11:03 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police dismantled a potentially explosive hash oil making operation in the basement of a rental home across the street from Centralia College.

The setup they found was using butane and situated next to a hot water heater, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Hash oil is a highly concentrated form of marijuana resin.

“During the production process, a highly flammable and explosive vapor is emitted which can explode on contact with an ignition source,” Sgt. Jim Shannon said in a news release.

A 52-year-old Centralia man was charged yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court with manufacturing marijuana. Dale R. Brotherton is being held in the Lewis County Jail on $10,000 bail.

The find came on Wednesday night at a home on the 800 block of West Pear Street.

Shannon said police had been investigating the situation for about a week.

Officers arrested Brotherton earlier in the day in the area, for a traffic violation. He was driving a pickup truck pulling a fifth-wheel trailer near the bus garage and police stopped him for driving without a required ignition interlock device, according to Shannon.

The sergeant said he believes Brotherton lives in the RV.

The resident of the home they searched that night is a friend of Brotherton’s who allowed him to use the space, Shannon said. She was cooperative, he said.

Shannon’s special anti-crime team confiscated more than 140 pounds of marijuana trimmings and various items used in the hash oil process, he said. They also found a jar of the substance in the kitchen freezer, he said.

He estimates the total street value in hash oil from the marijuana recovered by police would be about $156,000. Shannon used a street price of $40 per gram for the product referred to as Honey Oil, Shatter, BHO, Wax and Earwax.

The resulting product is something users would smoke with a vaporizer or e-cigarette or also could be used for so-called edibles, or marijuana-infused food products, according to Shannon.

Marijuana processing is something newly legalized under Initiative 502, with a state-issued license, but not presently allowed within Centralia city limits, Shannon said.

The sergeant said he didn’t know where Brotherton obtained the marijuana and he didn’t know if Brotherton is someone attempting to get involved in the legal market.

The police department seized the 2003 Ford F-350 pickup truck, the 35-foot RV and also a 1998 Toyota Camry belonging to Brotherton.

The investigation is ongoing, he said. Brotherton is scheduled to be back in court on June 5 for his arraignment, or to review if he’s been able to hire a lawyer, according to Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead.

Shannon said the house they searched is the same address where last Friday, a 17-year-old boy was injured when he was pinned briefly between a pickup and a fifth-wheel travel trailer during an attempt with someone else to hitch the two together. He  said he didn’t know if it was Brotherton or Brotherton’s vehicles involved.

He described the hash oil making process they found as several hanging glass tubes filled with compacted marijuana, through which butane would be passed via a small hole in the bottom – sort of like a drip coffee maker.

The resulting substance would lay on a glass surface, in this case a glass door and a very large glass window, he said. The remaining liquid solvent – sometimes paint thinner like Naptha or alcohol, is evaporated off, according to Shannon.

The end product is the remaining resin, a highly concentrated form of THC.

Shannon said some people use waxed paper to keep it in, and some keep it refrigerated to retain its solidity.

And it looks like ear wax, he said.

Sometimes further processing can turn it into even harder, which is then broken up which is why it sometimes is called Shatter.

He noted the final product retains a certain amount of residue from the solvent, and that indoor growers notoriously use fungicides because of humidity and some use pesticides since aphids are a problem.

Randle river search and recovery efforts for little boy stalled

Friday, May 30th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has decided to wait until the water level in the Cispus River drops in order to access an area beneath a log jam where a missing 5-year-old child may be.

The Tacoma boy was riding a motorcycle at a camp spot on Monday when he apparently accidentally went into the water. His motorcycle and a visor to his helmet have been recovered.

The child was camping with his family over the weekend about 10 and a half miles south of Randle, along Forest Service Road 120, off Forest Service Road 23.

Search and rescue personnel combed the area, on the ground and in the water each day through Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday, the sheriff’s office said a spotter from KIRO TV’s helicopter back on Tuesday observed something the same colors as the boy had been wearing beneath a particular log jam in the swift flowing river. Attempts were made on Wednesday by a water rescue team to probe the jam but they were unsuccessful because of the depth and current, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

The banks of the river have been searched and the child is presumed drowned.

“It is believed once the water level drops a few feet, searchers will be able to access the area under the logjam in hopes of finding the boy,” Brown said in a news release at mid-day on Thursday.

The plan is to secure a helicopter and crews for another search next week, if the conditions cooperate, according to Brown.

Meanwhile, they will be checking the area on foot frequently and keep monitoring water gauges in the area, Brown said.

“We don’t know that he’s in that log jam,” Brown said. “But we believe he is, given what the KIRO spotter saw and the way the currents run.”

Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield points out how swift and dangerous the search area is, even for rescuers with specialized training.

“Our searchers have worked relentlessly trying to recover this little boy’s body,” Mansfield stated in the news release. “Most of us have children and understand the extreme importance of recovering this little guy for his family. The river conditions have just made this search extremely difficult.”

According to the sheriff’s office, the river level has fluctuated only a few inches either way over the past few days. With the increased warmer weather, unfortunately, the water level will rise due to snowmelt, Brown says.

They also are considering the practicality of utilizing a search dog for future efforts, according to Brown.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

CLOSE CALL IN COW FIELD

• A 48-year-old Chehalis-area man used one of his cat lives last night when his ATV wrecked into a water-filled drainage ditch while he was riding alone after dark. “He’s very fortunate he didn’t die,” Lewis County Fire District 6 Firefighter-paramedic Matt McCoy said. “The quad was on top of him and it took him 10 to 15 seconds to get it off of himself.” The man was out in a cow pasture off Highway 603 near Tune Road and suffered fairly minor injuries, except he also apparently dislocated his hip, McCoy said. “It took him more than an hour to crawl back to the house,” McCoy said. “As he was getting closer, he was yelling for help.” The 911 call from a housemate came at about 11:30 p.m., McCoy said. The patient was put in an ambulance and transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, he said.

UNDERAGE PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS

• A 15-year-old Centralia boy who boarded an out-of-town school bus yesterday evening near the Centralia Middle School was talked to by police and taken away in an aid car because he was so highly intoxicated. Officers responding about 6:35 p.m. to the 2500 block of Pioneer Way also found some suspected marijuana in his pocket,  according to the Centralia Police Department. Police were called about an hour and a half later to Rotary Riverside Park about a male urinating in public and then called an ambulance for the same reason for a 16-year-old there. Neither were passed out unconscious but police describe the reason for the trip to the hospital as possible alcohol poisoning. Both face potential court cases for minor in possession / consumption of alcohol, according to police. Seattlepi.com publishes a report today that initial findings from a study conducted by health officials shows people are making more alcohol related trips to emergency rooms, since broader hard liquor sales went into affect following the 2011 voter initiative closing state run stores. For example, the Associated Press writer notes, during the first 13 months of private-sector spirit sales, people younger than 21 on Medicaid made a third more visits to emergency rooms for alcohol-related reasons.

SPECIAL UN-DELIVERY

• Centralia police were called about 4:35 p.m. yesterday to the 1500 block of Lewis Street regarding the theft of a package that was left on the door step.

VEHICLE PROWL

• An iPod was taken from a vehicle parked at the 1000 block of West Chestnut Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 5 p.m. yesterday.

• Chehalis police were called just before 6 o’clock this morning about a car prowl on Southwest Olympic Drive.

VANDALISM

• A 32-year-old Centralia man was arrested late last night after he allegedly broke the windshield out of a vehicle at the 500 block of South Pearl Street. Juan E. Mejia was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree malicious mischief, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, marijuana possession; responses for alarm, dispute, reckless driver, collision on city street, suspicious circumstances including female walking a small horse around a parking lot in the dark … and more.

Pair of Centralians awake to intruder leaving home

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police were called just before 4:30 a.m. today after someone burglarized an apartment while its occupants were sleeping.

Officers arriving to the 400 block of West Main Street called for a police dog to conduct a track, but no suspect was found, according to the Centralia Police Department.

A 19-year-old man who lives there told police he awoke from a recliner chair in the living room to see a person in a dark hooded garment walking out the front door, according to police.

“He yells at the person and last saw him running down the hallway,” Officer John Panco said.

Missing from the living room were a television and a guitar, Panco said. The 24-year-old roommate said he’d left the door unlocked, according to police.

The individual was described as more than 6 feet tall but less than 6-feet 4-inches tall, Panco said.

It was just three days ago when a resident at the north end of Centralia called for help as he hid in his bedroom while his home was burglarized in the night. Deputies responding to the 3000 block of Lowery Lane initially reported the victim did not see the person but there was a broken bedroom window.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

POLICE: BOY BULLIED OUT OF HIS CELL PHONE

• A 35-year-old Centralia man was arrested for robbery yesterday after he asked to see a 17-year-old boy’s cell phone in a homeless camp area in Centralia. Police called about 7:40 a.m. to the 2000 block of Borst Avenue found Richard A. Molina hiding in a brushy area, near the dog park where the Chehalis and Skookumchuck rivers meet,  according to the Centralia Police Department. A K-9 snuck up behind him, and he gave up, officer John Panco said. The teen told police Molina had got in his face as though he were going to assault him, and he feared if he didn’t hand the phone over, he would be hurt, according to Panco. As the two began walking, because Molina wanted the password, the boy told him he was calling for help with another cell phone he had, Panco said. Molina was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree robbery, according to police.

SWITCHED LICENSE PLATES

• Police were called about 3:45 p.m. yesterday to the 600 block of North Pearl Street after a resident discovered her front license plate was missing. When the officer ran a background check on the rear plate, it turned out to belong to a vehicle from Portland,  according to the Centralia Police Department. It’s not clear when the switch could have occurred, police said.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called to Greenwood Cemetery on the 1800 block of Van Wormer Street yesterday regarding several headstones tipped over and damaged, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Morton police responded to the 200 block of Hazel Street in Mossyrock at about 4 a.m. on Sunday where a resident said his vehicle alarm went off and he found the doors open, and the switch had been turned. Nothing appeared to be missing, according to the Morton Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for driving under the influence, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, possible sex crime, parking lot fender bender, protection order violation via pedaling bicycle past residence … and more.

News brief: Search for Tacoma 5-year-old at river done for the day

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Deputies called it a day late this afternoon and will be reevaluating how to go about finding the 5-year-old who disappeared into the Cispus River on Monday.

“They didn’t make any progress today, as far as finding him,” Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Steve Aust said early this evening.

The Tacoma boy was riding his motorcycle at the family’s campsite when his parents realized they didn’t hear the motor any longer and then saw it in the water.

Search and rescue personnel have been combing the area south of Randle off Forest Service Road 23 since Monday evening, stopping at nightfall. Today, four deputies and a fish and wildlife officer – swift water rescue team members – conducted their work, putting the fire department and Packwood SAR on standby.

Aust said it would help if the water level would drop, something that has been happening over the past 24 hours.

Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber will be considering conditions and resources and what to do next, he said.

River recovery efforts continue for child lost near Randle

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Updated at 11:23 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Five swift water rescue team members continue to scour the Cispus River this morning in hopes of finding the 5-year-old Tacoma boy who vanished while camping with his parents on Monday.

“They’re going back over the river and looking at log jams,” Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Steve Aust said. “The Randle Fire Department and Packwood SAR (Search and Rescue) are on standby, if we should find anything.”

The family was staying at an unimproved campground in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest several miles south of Randle. The child was riding his motorcycle and apparently got too close to the bank and fell in, while his parents had their back to him, according to the sheriff’s office.

Search and rescue efforts yesterday went until dark, with 18 personnel, including a dive team from Thurston County. A news helicopter assisted earlier in the day, the sheriff’s office said.

They focused on several log jams, Aust said. What was thought to be the child’s helmet about a mile downstream turned out to be only its visor hung up on a log jam, according to the sheriff’s office.

The motorcycle was pulled from the river yesterday, close to the camp spot, according to Fire Chief Jeff Jaques.

Responders called about 7 p.m. on Monday were looking for both the little boy and his 32-year-old father, who had jumped in the river. It was almost dark before the man was found, on the bank looking for his son about a half mile from the camp spot, according to Aust.

The terrain, steep embankments and heavy brush, is making the effort very challenging, the sheriff’s office said yesterday afternoon.

“The river continues to run very swift and cold making the search extremely dangerous,” the sheriff’s office said.

At the scene this morning are sheriff’s office Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber and the water rescue members consisting of four deputies and a officer with Fish and Wildlife, according to Aust.

Notes from behind the news: Let’s take a time out, and have some real fun

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
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Coming to our town; early bird tickets until Friday.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – News reporting is a blast.

Chasing down stories of crimes, rescues, near misses and what-have-you and following how justice plays out can keep a person going, with an endless stream of intriguing stories.

But I have to confess, sometimes the cops, courts and fire beat gets seriously depressing. When you’re focused on the latest, looking for what’s new, it seems sometimes the trauma, drama and disaster will never end.

I even heard from one reader who took a little break from Lewis County Sirens.com, because the gloom got overwhelming. Heck, I’ve wanted to turn it off at times.

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Saturday, Aug 2, 2014

So, in the interest of the well-being of all of us, I say, let’s take a time out. How about one day where we can turn our attention to something uplifting, even … fun?

It’s time for a party.

That’s why Lewis County Sirens.com is co-media sponsor for a music festival this summer that should knock your socks off.

The DB Cooper Music Festival has decided to touch down this year in Chehalis / Centralia with its all-day event, at the mid-point of the famed 1971 Portland to Seattle flight skyjacking.

The gathering made its debut last year, somewhere up north, with one stage and seven or eight musical groups in the lineup. But its organizers found this year’s two dozen or so acts – enough for three different stages – are best suited for the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds.

It’s blues, it’s folk, it’s funk and some other upbeat types I’m sure I don’t know. But I’ve led a sheltered musical life.

I’m told the acts are top notch.

They range from the 2013 International Blues Entertainer of the Year Curtis Salgado who inspired John Belushi to create The Blues Brothers to The Voice finalist Vicci Martinez, whose acoustic-rock music comes out of Tacoma.

They include six-time grammy nominee Maria Muldaur best known for her 1974 huge hit Midnight at the Oasis, and Brittany Kingery out of McCleary whose tropical acoustic sounds were among those at last year’s festival.

There’s more. Blues pioneer Alice Stewart; Independent Music Awards winners The Brown Edition; an Olympia band; Capitol Records Rising Star Ethan Tucker, a Washington born singer-songwriter; Puget Sounds masters of funk Bump Kitchen; Mudcat, an Aberdeen native; Rick Ranum whose band during its early days opened for performers like Joe Cocker and BB King.

Soul, rock, jazz, bluegrass, blues, folk, funk, southern rock, beachy and more all mixed up in one place. Singer-songwriters who live to entertain.

These are people who’ve toured the country, toured the world.

And they’re gonna play our town.

All day on a Saturday.

It’s a 21 and over event, with food, merriment and a suggestion by one artist that people should plan to dance their behinds off.

The day is brought to you by the local Exit 104 Media Inc.

Why is it named for the historic outlaw who vanished with a parachute and gobs of cash from an airplane more than four decades ago? I’m not certain, though it almost seems as though Cooper – or possibly some intermediary – is like a behind-the-scenes host.

We can plan on so much amazing music, there won’t be one moment to spare for thoughts about sirens. For one day.

Early bird ticket prices are available until Friday.

Get yours now. I’m gonna be there. Why don’t you join me?

DB Cooper Music Festival
When: Saturday, Aug 2, 2014 doors open at 11 a.m. until it’s over
Where: Southwest Washington Fairgrounds, 2555 North National Avenue, Chehalis, Wash.
Ticket Price: $25 – $40
Early Bird Tickets $25: – Price good until May 31, 2014
Show Type: Festival
Restrictions: 21 & over, ID required
Parking: $5 per vehicle
For all the details: http://dbcoopermusicfestival.com/index.shtm
Tickets sales online, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Updated at 1:39 p.m.

VADER CHURCH, FLAG TARGETED BY TEENS

• Four teenagers were arrested after a vandalism spree in Vader over the weekend that involved a church and the old city jail, with one of them taking down a flag, tying it in a knot and setting it on fire before running it back up the flag pole. Deputies contacting the pastor at the  Assembly of God Church learned some of the events were captured on security video and took place between 10 p.m. and midnight on Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said the youths broke down a door at the jail, cut phone lines at the church across the street, pried open a power box and destroyed security cameras. However, close up views of their faces were found on video images, Brown said. Two lights that shined upon the American flag were stolen as well, Brown said. The teens, all from Vader, ages 14, 15 and 16, were booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Justice Center for third-degree malicious mischief, theft and criminal conspiracy, according to the sheriff’s office.

MAN CONCEALS SELF WHILE RESIDENCE BURGLARIZED

• The sheriff’s office is investigating after an overnight break-in the north end of Centralia in which a 29-year-old resident said he hid in a bedroom while his home was burglarized. Deputies responded about 2 a.m. yesterday to the 3000 block of Lowery Lane following a 911 call in which a man was saying help me, help me repeatedly before the phone disconnected, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. There was a language barrier and it’s not clear what was taken or known who the intruder was, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. Evidence was collected from outside a broken bedroom window which will be analyzed, Brown said.

TENT FIRE

• A 28-year-old man from Lakewood is jailed after he allegedly tried to burn down someone’s tent during the night at a Toledo area campground early on Friday following a dispute. No injuries were reported, except the arrestee who suffered from a dog bite which had occurred earlier, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were called about 1:15 a.m. on Friday to the Cowlitz Timber Trails Campground on the 1900 block of Spencer Road found friends of the 23-year-old victim, who is from Lynnwood, had detained the suspect who tried to run away and hide beneath a trailer, according to the sheriff’s office. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office didn’t indicate what the disagreement was about, but said that Justin E. Roberts who was unknown to the victim came to the camp site three times earlier and each time was told to leave.  Then later, someone heard the velcro to the tent being opened and saw the same person light it on fire, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Roberts was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital to be treated for the bite and then booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree arson, she said. Brown said the sheriff’s office had no information about the dog bite.

GIRL FIGHT GOES BAD

• Centralia police are investigating a nighttime meet-up for a fight between two young women that ended with a cracked eye socket for one and a head concussion for the other. Officers were advised yesterday afternoon by Chehalis police that the incident had taken place around 2 o’clock in the morning. The injured had gone to the hospital on their own, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sgt. Kurt Reichert said the initial investigation indicates the two arranged to meet in the Seminary Hill Natural Area to fight and then six or seven others, both males and females, jumped in. As for the reason for the dispute, Reichert would only say they didn’t like each other. The victims are ages 18 and 19 and both from Chehalis, he said. Someone could be in trouble for second-degree assault, according to police.

OUT-OF-CONTROL GROWN SON

• Deputies arrested a 43-year-old Ethel man on Sunday afternoon after a call to the 100 block of Pinkerton Road where his mother and sister advised he was in the house freaking out and broke a window. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says that during the arrest, Lynn K. Jorgensen injured a deputy’s finger, grabbing it and squeezing it until it “popped.” Jorgensen was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault and disorderly conduct, according to the sheriff’s office.

JAIL ASSAULT

• A 24-year-old inmate at the Lewis County Jail found himself in further trouble when he was queried about a broken broom and responded by punching a corrections officer in the face on Sunday afternoon, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office says the jail employee was told Drake A. Lorber had busted the tip off the broom handle and wanted to retrieve it for safety reasons. When the guard told Lorber to come out of the shower, Lorber reportedly jumped out flexing his arms, puffing his chest and screaming “insanity”, the sheriff’s office reports. Staff managed to restrain Lorber who now faces a possible charge of custodial assault, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. The 24-year-old employee suffered soreness to his left cheek, she said. Staff indicated they tried to learn why Lorber acted the way he did, but couldn’t, Brown said.

CAT BURGLAR ENTERS FROM ROOF

• Chehalis police were called about 1:30 p.m. yesterday by the owner of a building on the 1200 block of Northwest Cedar Way after the discovery someone broken in by removing panels from the roof to get inside. Missing are automotive parts; it’s a structure used for storage, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THEFT IN CHEHALIS

• A woman who was in the process of moving called police yesterday after finding while she was gone someone came into the residence near Southwest Seventh Street and Market Boulevard in Chehalis and went through her belongings, taking small items, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THEFT FROM SELF STORAGE BUSINESS

• Padlocks were cut from three customer’s storage units in Randle and multiple items stolen including three ring-type crab pots and a Lincoln wire feed welder sometime between 2 p.m. on Thursday and 2 p.m. on Saturday. A deputy contacted on Saturday afternoon about the burglaries at CVS Storage on the 9400 block of U.S. Highway 12 noted the victims, all Randle residents ages 28, 57 and 80, also lost a rototiller, a Craftsman pressure washer and a chainsaw, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $710.

FIREARMS TAKEN IN BURGLARY

• A deputy was called to a home on the 300 block of Howe Road outside Toledo about 6:20 p.m. on Friday where a 32-year-old man said while he was working out of town, someone broke in and stole a Remington 12-gauge shotgun and a Stevens 12-gauge pump-action shotgun, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

DRUGS

• A traffic stop and a warrant led to an arrest for possession of methamphetamine on Saturday afternoon on South Market and Main Street in Chehalis. When Levi G. Edmonds, 24, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, some suspected drugs were found, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

WRECK TAKES OUT TWO POWER POLES

• A 16-year-old driver from Chehalis was reportedly uninjured when she collided with two utility poles on Sunday morning, sheering one off at its base and coming to rest against the second one. A deputy responding just after 8 a.m. to the 500 block of Highway 603 west of Chehalis found the 1997 Ford F150 pickup truck totaled and learned the girl had taken her eyes off the road when she reached for something on the passenger seat, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. She was cited for speeds too fast for conditions, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, negligent driving, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarms, disputes, shoplifting groceries; complaints of barking dog, house and cars egged, penis drawn onto a car with a grease pen, young women pulling their pants down in public, tent pitched in gully across from mint factory, an energetic medium-sized dog repeatedly running into a retirement home … and more.

•••

CORRECTION: This has been updated to reflect the correct location for the nighttime break-in at the north end of Centralia in which a resident hid in a bedroom while his home was burglarized. It occurred on the the 3000 block of Lowery Lane.

Breaking news: Five-year-old feared drowned near Randle, father survives

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Responders are attempting to recover the body of a 5-year-old Tacoma boy who fell into the Cispus River near Randle yesterday as he was riding his motorcycle at an unimproved campground.

His 32-year-old father jumped in after the child but was unable to reach him before the boy was swept away, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

The father was able to reach the shore after being carried downstream about a half mile, the sheriff’s office stated in a news release this morning.

Teams working last night believed they spotted little one’s helmet snagged on a log approximately one mile down river from from where he went in, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. The recovery operation resumed at daylight this morning, according to Brown.

Deputies, firefighters and swift water team members out of Toledo responded about 7 p.m. last night to reports of possible drownings.

The site is beyond the Cispus Learning Center is in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, which is about seven miles south of Randle.

Due to darkness and the extremely swift water, teams had to discontinue the search last night, according to Brown.

The boy was camping with his family over the weekend about 10 and a half miles south of Randle, along Forest Service Road 120, off Forest Service Road 23.

Brown said he was wearing full protective riding gear and a helmet, and it appeared he got to close to the river bank and went in.

The river is running very fast at this time of year due to snow melt, Brown indicated, and the water temperatures are extremely cold.

On the scene this morning are deputies, members of Lewis County Fire Districts 14 Randle and 2 Toledo, water rescue specialists from Lewis and Thurston counties, Packwood Search and Rescue and a Fish and Wildlife agent, according to Brown.

News brief: Child, adult missing along Cispus River

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Deputies are on the scene looking for a 5-year-old and an adult missing near the Cispus River south of Randle.

“We’ve got really spotty information because there’s no cell service, but it’s possible they went into the river,” Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Steve Aust said.

Aust said he was notified around 7 p.m. Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber is gathering up search and rescue personnel, he said.

Aust said the area is out Forest Service Road 23, possibly within a mile of the Cispus Center.

“It’s not sounding too good, but hopefully they’ll be found, and be just fine,” he said.

Swift water rescue team members out of Toledo were dispatched just after 7 p.m. for a possible drowning.

The Cispus Learning Center is in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, about seven miles outside Randle.

The search is expected to resume in the morning.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, May 26th, 2014

POLICE: WOMAN CHOKED BY BOYFRIEND

• A 30-year-old Centralia man was arrested for second-degree assault after police responded about 9 p.m. yesterday to an incident at the 500 block of Yew Street. Brandon K. Phelps allegedly choked his girlfriend and was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

POLICE: COP KICKED BY DETAINEE

• A 44-year-old Oakville man reportedly kicked a police officer for no reason after he was handcuffed following a domestic dispute early yesterday morning in Centralia. Alfredo Lopez-Menbreno was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault following the incident about 12:15 a.m. at the 3200 block of Fords Prairie Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

SKATE PARK DISPUTE

• A 27-year-old Tenino man was arrested on Saturday afternoon after he allegedly tried to pick a fight with several kids at the skate park in Centralia. Officers booked Anthony W. Wells into the Lewis County Jail for disorderly conduct following the incident at the 700 block of Harrison Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ATTEMPTED BURGLARY

• Centralia police took a report about 10:45 a.m. yesterday where someone tried to kick in the back door of a vacant home on the 1000 block of E Street. They didn’t’ get inside and nothing was taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Someone got into a vehicle overnight at East Pine and North Tower Avenue in Centralia and stole “items”, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department yesterday afternoon.

BONFIRE MISHAP

• A woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after she fell into a fire near Dryad on Saturday night. Firefighters from Lewis County Fire Districts 16 and 11 responded around dinnertime to the incident along state Route 6 near Rainbow Falls State Park. She was transported to Adan High School where she was met by a helicopter, District 11 Chief Michael Krafczyk said. Krafczyk said he understood she suffered second and third-degree burns from the outdoor recreational fire. “How she fell in, I don’t know, or if she’s still at Harborview,” he said this morning.

WSP: SEAT BELTS WORK

• Three people walked away without injuries after a rollover accident involving an elk early yesterday morning on Interstate 5 near Grand Mound. Troopers called just before 5 a.m. learned a northbound semi truck hit the animal which was tossed in front of a car in the far left lane, according to the Washington State Patrol. The dead elk was dragged beneath the car for about 100 feet before the vehicle rolled, Trooper Guy Gill said. The driver and two passengers were all wearing seat belts, Gill said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence, misdemeanor assault, trespass; responses for misdemeanor theft, collisions on city streets … and more.

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Car ends up on its top after dragging a dead elk near the exit 88 freeway interchange on Interstate 5 yesterday. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

TEEN LIFE FLIGHTED AFTER RV HITCHING MISHAP

• A 17-year-old boy was airlifted to Harborview Medical in Seattle yesterday after he was crushed between a pickup truck and a fifth-wheel travel trailer in Centralia. Police called about 11:15 p.m. to the 800 block of West Pear Street say the owner was trying to hook the two together when the vehicle rolled back too far and caught the teen. Arriving firefighters found someone else had already moved the truck and the boy had only been pinned briefly, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Centralia police say he was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital to be evaluated for possible injuries. Firefighter-paramedic Jennifer Ternan said he was then flown to the regional trauma center, but she didn’t have any information about his condition. The case remains under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT, THEFT, THEFT, THEFT …

• A 39-year-old Centralia man was arrested for being in possession of a vehicle stolen out of Port Angeles, which had license tabs on it taken off a different vehicle in Port Angeles and was affixed with a license plate stolen from Centralia. Kelly L. Beckley allegedly left the Ford F-150 pickup truck at Wal-Mart, where he stole a bicycle and pedaled over to K-Mart, where he shoplifted a pair of trousers, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was greeted by an officer after he had changed into the pants in the restroom there, according to police. An employee from Wal-Mart had called 911 about 2:50 p.m. on Thursday to say Beckley was acting suspicious, when he got on the bicycle and rode away, police said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday that someone broke into a home on the 3700 block of Russell Road in Centralia. A deputy responding there on Thursday learned that sometime between noon and 3 p.m. entered the residence and left with about $600 worth of valuables, including an HP laptop computer and jewelry, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Centralia police were called about 2 p.m. Thursday about someone stealing a purse from a shopping cart at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue.

DRUGS

• A 23-year-old from Forest Grove, Ore. was arrested for possession of methamphetamine after contact with an officer on Thursday night at the 600 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Alfredo Mendoza-Martinez, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• There will be no trial next month for the 2010 drive-by shooting at on Southwest William Street in Chehalis. Prosecutors in April brought their suspect back to Lewis County to face charges, from prison where he is serving more than 100 years for a gang-related shooting incident in Yakima County. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Mark McClain asked a judge on Thursday to dismiss the charges, without prejudice, meaning they could be re-filed at a later time. “I think there’s something else going on here we need to investigate in a different way,” McClain told the judge when he made his request. Andrew Morales-Loberg, now 22, will be headed back to prison, with a release date in the year 2165. Prosecutors had issued a material witness warrant for one of the victims in the case, Rolando Carrillo-Cruz, who McClain said is in Mexico. The judge signed an order quashing that warrant on Thursday.

CANDLES ARE CULPRITS IN VADER HOUSE FIRE

• A fire that chased a family from it’s Vader area home on Thursday evening was caused by candles. Members of Cowlitz-Lewis Fire District 2 responding about 7 p.m. to the single-story house on the 100 block of Enchanted Valley Drive found smoke billowing out from all the back windows and a resident using a fire extinguisher from outside to get at the flames, according to Chief Richard Underdahl. His son had been working on a computer and noticed flames coming from an unusual interior room inside the residence, according to Underdahl. The father closed that door, made sure everyone was outside and helped contain the fire until crews arrived. The original property owner had built the house around a vintage Airstream-type travel trailer which couldn’t be seen from outside, but when one opened one of the interior doors, they found themselves inside the trailer, according to Underdahl. It’s a room one of the pre-teen-age children and friends had been burning a couple of candles in earlier and they were forgotten about, Fire Investigator Ted McCarty said. It’s interior was burned, but the home and its other contents were mostly saved, Underdahl said. Nobody was injured and some of the roughly 20 firefighters, which included adjacent districts, were on the scene until about 11 p.m., he said.

WRECKS

• A 31-year-old school bus driver was issued a citation after he backed his bus up into an occupied Saturn station wagon on the 100 block of Moon Road west of Chehalis on Thursday afternoon. A deputy responding after the 3:30 p.m. incident found the damage to both vehicles was minor and none of the teenagers on the bus – from Curtis and the Chehalis area – were injured, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday.

• A Tacoma man was injured in a rollover accident overnight on Interstate 5 south of Napavine when he collided with the center barrier causing a rear wheel to come off his car. Troopers responding about 12:40 a.m. to the northbound lanes near Koontz Road found the 1994 Buick four-door was totaled and the detached wheel had traveled to the other side of the freeway where it was was struck by a southbound vehicle, according to the Washington State Patrol. Ernest G. Hartwig, 56, was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, the state patrol reports. He was to be cited for wheels off the roadway.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, shoplifting merchandise such as liquor and groceries, stealing landscaping rocks; responses for alarms, suspicious circumstances, misdemeanor theft, collisions on city streets, graffiti, someone shooting a BB at a car … and more.

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A 1994 Buick is prepared for towing after it wrecked on Interstate 5 south of Napavine. / Courtesy photo by Kristal Autumn

Explosion rocks Packwood flea market

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The massive highway-side flea market that Packwood becomes each Memorial Day weekend started off with a bang this morning, in a bad way.

A motorhome exploded right in the middle of the outdoor market, by the Shell gas station, according to Lewis County Fire District 10.

There were no serious injuries.

“There were actually four people in it, it was totaled,” Fire Chief Lonnie Goble said. “It blew the windows out, blew the door off. The people inside were very lucky.”

Firefighters responding about 7:30 a.m. found the ruined RV and four guys sitting off to the side, Goble said.

There were only a couple of minor burns, none had to go to the hospital, he said.

Goble said the four men are from Yakima, and they were in town as vendors, with their motorhome parked adjacent to their vendor site. He didn’t notice what they were selling, he said.

The chief said the men had been cooking breakfast when a heater leaking propane gas caused the blast. The RV didn’t catch fire, he said.

“They said it was very loud and knocked ’em all onto the floor, well, one onto the bed,” he said.