Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Fire destroys Centralia home, man and pet unhurt

Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 10:27 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A rural Centralia home burned overnight but the resident and his dog escaped without injury, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

Firefighters called about 3:30 a.m. to the 400 block of Jones Road at the far east end of their jurisdiction found the two-story house fully engulfed in flames, according to Assistant Chief Rick Mack.

The man who lives there was already outside and using a garden hose on it, Mack said.

Chief Mike Kytta reports the fire was too far along to enter the building and was fought only from the exterior.

They were joined by firefighters from Chehalis.

Crews were able to keep the fire from spreading to a storage building, a boat and a pickup truck, according to Kytta.

The house and an adjacent wood shed containing several cords of wood were described as total losses.

Mack said the cause is under investigation, but may be hard to pinpoint given the amount of destruction.

The occupant had been sleeping and was awakened by a smoke alarm, Mack said. When he got up, he saw fire in the area of his enclosed back porch, but couldn’t tell exactly what it was, he said.

The working smoke alarm was key in this situation, Mack said.

“It really is a critical life saving tool,” he said. “As evidenced by this incident here.”

The Red Cross is assisting the resident, according to the fire department.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Updated at 3:40 p.m.

BUTTER KNIFE ATTACK

• A 46-year-old woman was arrested last night after she allegedly stabbed her boyfriend in the chest with a butter knife at the 1200 block of Long Road in Centralia. Deputies called about 11:40 p.m. found the 38-year-old victim had a wound near his collarbone, but he didn’t want any aid, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. They learned he threw lighter that hit her in the arm and she stuck him with the piece of flatware, according to the sheriff’s office. Angela M. Reed was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

BANK CARD STOLEN AND USED

• Police took a report from a 61-year-old Centralia man yesterday morning after he discovered that while he was in jail someone used his debit card and drained his account. The card was left at the motel where he was staying on the 1000 block of Eckerson Road when he was arrested, the victim told police . And when he got out after about four months, he went to the bank to make a withdrawal and found he was nearly $5,000 in the red, some of that being attributed to overdraft fees, Officer Patty Finch said. The investigation is ongoing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• Deputies responded about 5 p.m. yesterday to a burglary at the 100 block of Tri-Mountain Lane outside Centralia in which an estimated $500 worth of jewelry was missing from a home. It happened between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and the suspect may have been driving a red  four-door passenger car, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

FELONY SHOPLIFTING

• Chehalis police responded to Wal-Mart about 10 p.m. yesterday after a security person detained one of two females who reportedly left without paying, pushing a shopping cart loaded up with nearly $300 worth of diapers, blankets, clothing and cleaning supplies. One fled on foot but the other reportedly said she was going to sell the items to others, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Arrianna K. Davis, 18, of Kelso, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for theft with intent to resell, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said.

COLLISION

• An 18-year-old driver was hospitalized yesterday after her car ran off U.S. Highway 12 about a dozen miles east of Packwood and struck a rock embankment. Troopers called just before 11 a.m. report the Toyota Tercel was totaled. Melissa A. Watkins, from Tieton, was transported to Morton General Hospital, according to the Washington State Patrol.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, a man who shoplifted a plum; responses for alarm, disputes, collisions on city streets, car versus deer on state route, suspicious circumstances … and more.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Forest fire west of Centralia well under control

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 8:39 pm
2014.0811.juan.martinez.teagueroad

By early Monday evening from a little bit beyond Teague Road, the wildfire had calmed. / Courtesy photo by Juan Martinez

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The fire fight west of Centralia is winding down but crews will continue work a few more days to make sure smoldering wood is all the way extinguished and complete what they call mop up.

A spokesperson for the state Department of Natural Resources said the charred area was mapped at just under 60 acres.

“They were hoping at the end of today’s shift to have it 100 percent contained,” Rex Hapala said this evening.

Hapala said approximately 85 firefighters worked today, at the forest fire site about three miles past the end of Teague Road.

“The fire wasn’t very active at all last night,” Hapala said.

The blaze began on Sunday afternoon with Riverside Fire Authority responding, and personnel from DNR joining them as flames swept through some 25 acres that included 40-year-old timber.

The initial call was about a slash pile observed burning in a clear cut area off a logging road.

DNR set up a base at Centralia High School yesterday morning as numerous firefighters were summoned from  Lewis, Pacific and Cowlitz counties.

The property is DNR Trust Land, managed by the state agency with timber profits benefitting schools.

By yesterday afternoon, DNR Incident Commander Aaron Schmidt estimated the size at 40 acres and called it 25 percent contained. A helicopter dropped water on areas describe as hot spots as firefighters worked in 100 degree weather.

Inmate crews from Larch Creek and Naselle Youth Camp assisted as well.

It was the biggest fire DNR’s Pacific Cascade Region had battled in about two weeks, according to Schmidt.

The closest homes were probably a mile and a half away, at the end of Deep Creek Road out of Adna, Schmidt said.

The National Weather Service yesterday issued a red flag warning for dangerous fire weather, with expected lightning and some was seen in the area this morning, and some moisture came with it, according to Hapala.

Hapala said tomorrow they plan to bring in two new inmate crews to do line work around the perimeter, and create a better buffer zone.

He expects the work will continue through the end of the week.

“We’ll be out there a few more days, continuing to do mop up,” he said. “Some of the bigger fuels are still smoking and burning.”

2014.0810.teagueroad.sundayevening.tracie.trice

Looking south, flames rise from the hillside beyond Teague Road around 8 p.m. on Sunday. / Courtesy photo by Tracie Trice

2014.0811.scan.teague.fire

Teague Road Fire: 08/11/2014 / Department of Natural Resources

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Updated at 6:49 p.m.

RESCUE IN THE MOUNTAINS

• A backpacker who got sick in the Goat Rocks Wilderness area over the weekend was rescued yesterday by a search and rescue team member, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 37-year-old woman from Tualatin, Ore. with three companions walked into the Snowgrass Flats at the Chambers Lake outside of Packwood to camp on Saturday, but the following day she was suffering from vertigo, vomiting and couldn’t stand up, according to the sheriff’s office. They called for help and rescuers drove partway in, and one of them hiked to the camp reaching it around midnight, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The area is at an elevation of approximately 5,600 feet, Brown said. The search and rescue team member stayed the night and helped hydrate the woman, so they could walk out yesterday morning, according to Brown. The Oregon woman said she hadn’t had an episode for years, but the elevation may have brought it on, Brown said.

THEFT AT CENTRALIA MILL

• Centralia police were called about 10:15 a.m. yesterday to Northwest Hardwoods at the 3000 block of Galvin Road about the theft of about $6,000 worth of sander bearings. Each of the missing square brass bearings weighs five to seven pounds, according to the Centralia Police Department. Eleven or 12 of them disappeared from a rack sometime during the previous week, according to police. There is no suspect information, Officer Patty Finch said.

THEFT OF CASH

• Centralia police were called about 4:15 p.m. yesterday to the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue regarding the theft of money. The case remains under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WINLOCK THEFT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that someone stole about $1,000 worth of various equipment such as a pressure washer and tools from outside a home on the 200 block of Winter Road near Winlock between 6 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. last Thursday.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday that nearly $2,000 worth of carpentry tools were stolen from a residence at the 400 block of Hart Road in Winlock between Thursday and Friday.

CHEHALIS THEFT

• More than $8,000 worth of valuables were missing when a 37-year-old woman returned home to find the residence ransacked at the 600 block of Highway 603 west of Chehalis, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday. She left at 11 a.m. and got back at 4 p.m. and discovered someone had forced their way through a door at the garage and left with jewelry, an Xbox and other items such as clothing including Lewis County Sheriff’s Office uniform pants, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. Also taken was a Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Explorer’s notebook, Brown said. Brown indicated that she did not know if it was a deputy’s home that was burglarized.

• A Lawn Chief deck lawn mower and a disassembled 12.5 hp engine were taken from a garage at the 100 block of Lake Creek Road outside Chehalis, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday. The owner said it happened sometime between 5 p.m. last Thursday and 11 p.m. on Saturday, according to the sheriff’s office.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday they are investigating a case in which $2,200 cash went missing from where it was stored under a mattress. The victim, a 68-year-old Chehalis woman, said she always keeps her doors locked and didn’t believe anyone knew it was there, according to the sheriff’s office. She noticed it on Friday, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

MISSING MOTORHOME

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that a the owner of a 1998 Thor Regency class A motorhome discovered on Friday it was missing from the gated storage area at the Thousand Trails Campground where he had parked it a month earlier. The green and white RV is valued at $27,500, according to the sheriff’s office. Staff at the site on the 2200 block of Centralia-Alpha Road said sometimes guests leave the gate open, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

FAKE BIG BILLS

• Centralia police took a report about 1:30 p.m. yesterday of counterfeit $100 bills being passed at the Centralia Outlet stores.

DRUGS

• A 47-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine last night after a pipe with residue was located on his person at South Tower Avenue near the viaduct in Centralia, according to police. James A. Nix was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. He was to be released with charges filed pending further investigation.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning about a vehicle prowl at the 3300 block of Northeast Adams Avenue. The victim said he found his missing tackle box in the garbage near his apartment, but other property was still missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• The vehicle was locked but windows partially down and when its owner returned to the store’s parking lot, several items from inside it including pain medication were gone. Chehalis police were called about 4:30 p.m. yesterday to the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard took a report.

SHOPPER LEAVES DOG IN CAR

• A 40-year-old Tacoma resident was cited for animal cruelty after he allegedly left his dog inside his vehicle for more than an hour in 90 degree weather yesterday, while parked at the Centralia Outlets. An officer called about 1:30 p.m. to the 100 block of High Street found the Pit Bull laying across the seats, panting heavily and the windows slightly down. Vatsana Phaisan showed up about the time the officer did and said he didn’t think it had been long, that time got away from him, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ASSAULT

• A 36-year-old Vancouver man who reportedly fled after assaulting a woman outside a store on the 2900 block of Jackson Highway in Chehalis was picked up at his home by law enforcement from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and booked into the Lewis County Jail. A deputy called on Sunday night was told a citizen intervened after the man choked the woman he was dating, hit her in the face several times, threw her to the ground and broke her phone, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 48-year-old Chehalis woman said it began with an argument and she then thought he was going to kill her, according to the sheriff’s office. Jagwinder Singh was arrested for second-degree assault, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

MOTORCYCLE INCIDENT

• A male was cited after he lost control of his motorcycle yesterday afternoon at the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. Centralia police say he dropped his bike and was not not wearing a helmet, nor did he have a motorcycle endorsement. Spencer Baumgartner then walked back to work, Officer Patty Finch said.

COLLISIONS

• A driver was hospitalized after a single-vehicle wreck in Tenino on Saturday night, in which his car left the roadway at a corner and traveled down an approximately 20-foot embankment. Firefighters were called about 11 p.m. to the scene, on Bluemauer Road, just west of Crane Street, according to Thurston County Fire District 12. He was transported by paramedics to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, according to District 12.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday a 23-year-old Chehalis resident sustained a head injury when he reached for his cell phone and ran into a ditch and culvert at the 400 block of Avery Road East on Sunday. He was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital and cited for wheels off the roadway, according to the sheriff’S office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, disputes, hit and run, suspicious circumstances, misdemeanor theft, dog inside hot vehicle; complaint of barking dog … and more.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, August 11, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Updated

ROADSIDE UN-ASSISTANCE

• An Elma man who left his tent trailer on the side of Interstate 5 with a flat tire returned the following morning to find it had vanished, but followed drag marks for roughly 10 miles to a driveway in Winlock. The tent trailer was recovered, and deputies who spoke with individuals at the 100 block of Lane Drive have a suspect, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The incident from Saturday remains under investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.

FOOD FIGHT LANDS ONE IN JAIL

• A 38-year-old Centralia man was arrested for misdemeanor assault after throwing mashed potatoes on another customer at the 600 block of West Main Street in Centralia yesterday afternoon. Officers responded about 4:50 p.m. and booked Mitchell L. Galster, into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police called to Kentucky Fried Chicken for a disorderly person, found Galster had walked outside, and then was  confronted by a male coming through the drive through who got out of his vehicle, according to police. Officer Patty Finch said Galster reportedly flung the food onto the male and his vehicle. The officer noted Galster smelled highly of alcohol, Finch said.

LIVESTOCK SET FREE

• Centralia police took a report about 11 a.m. yesterday in which an individual at the 1900 block of Van Wormer Street said someone cut his fence and allowed his cows to escape.

AUTO THEFT MORTON

• Morton police took a report on Saturday from an individual who said his 1998 Subaru Legacy vanished sometime after midnight while he camped at Gust Backstrom Park. The loss is estimated at $5,000, according to the Morton Police Department.

BURGLARY CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police were called to the 2100 block of North National Avenue on Friday morning regarding the theft of various items from vendors during the night.

YOGI WANNABES

• Morton police were called about 2:40 a.m. on Friday to Gust Backstrom Park where a camper had chased what they thought were two teenagers going through their coolers. Nothing was missing, according to the Morton Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Chehalis police were called about 2 o’clock this morning regarding a car prowl on Northeast Washington Avenue.

• Chehalis police were called to Southwest Lewis Street early Saturday morning regarding a car prowl.

COLLISIONS

• A 64-year-old Packwood man was hospitalized after a single-vehicle wreck on U.S. Highway 12 today four miles east of Randle. Troopers called about 2:50 p.m. found Larry M. Henricksen was traveling eastbound when his Ford F350 pickup left the road to the right and rolled onto its top. The vehicle was totaled and impounded, according to the Washington State Patrol. The cause of the crash is under investigation, the state patrol reports. Henricksen was transported to Morton General Hospital.

• A 73-year-old Seattle woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle yesterday after the sport utility vehicle she was driving was hit by an oncoming car on state Route 123 about 10 miles east of Packwood. The Toyota Highlander spun around and went down an embankment, according to the Washington State Patrol. Her 84-year-old passenger, Dee J. McGonigle, also from Seattle, was injured and taken to Morton General Hospital, according to the state patrol. Troopers called about 1:20 p.m. to milepost three concluded a Honda Civic driven northbound by a 26-year-old Renton resident crossed over the centerline and hit the SUV in the driver’s side front end, according to the state patrol. The Renton man, Andrew J. Wilkerson, was also transported to the Morton Hospital, the investigating trooper reports. Both vehicles were described as totaled.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, disputes, bark fires, possible fraud, eggs thrown, loud nighttime music from a bar, collisions on city streets,  … and more.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

One hundred individuals fighting wildfire in northwest Lewis County

Monday, August 11, 2014 at 11:44 am

Updated at 1:28 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The forest fire west of Centralia is 10 percent contained this morning, but covers an area of 40 acres that began about three miles past the end of Teague Road yesterday.

Riverside Fire Authority’s public information officer reports this morning 100 people from Lewis, Pacific and Cowlitz counties are on the scene.

There is no threat to any structures currently, according to Capt. Scott Weinert.

Crews from the Centralia area fire department were called about 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon when a slash pile was discovered burning in a clear cut area off a logging road.

The speed at which the flames spread and in that type of landscape is something not often seen by Centralia firefighters, according to Chief Mike Kytta.

“It’s uncharacteristic for our area,” he said. “In my experience over the last 30 years, this is the third one.”

Personnel from the the state Department of Natural Resources were called in at the beginning, and arrived within about about a half hour, Kytta said.

The fire department described the terrain as rough, with 40-year-old timber on property owned by the state Department of Natural Resources. The area is a mix, with land owned also by three private timber companies in the vicinity, Kytta said.

The initial response included Kytta, Assistant Chief Mack, 12 firefighters and seven pieces of equipment.

“(Chief Mack) was seeing fire devils come through, where wind gets everything spinning like a tornado,” Kytta said. “Flames would shoot 60 feet up a tree in a matter of moments.”

The fire is some distance away from any homes, he said, indicating perhaps a half mile would have been the closest.

Kytta said the fire last night spread in a 360-degree pattern out from the point of origin, with flames pushing to the west.

The scene was turned over to DNR last night and Riverside crews assisted until dark.

Three loads of retardant were dropped from the air last night and helicopters will be used today, according to Weinert.

The National Weather Service this morning issued a red flag warning for dangerous fire weather, for nearly all of Western Washington. Thunder and lightening are predicted for tonight. Temperatures today in Centralia are forecast to be in the mid 90s.

The fire prompted a type three state mobilization.

DNR brought in additional resources this morning and set up a base of operations at Centralia High School. They are expecting to be on the fire through Saturday, according to Weinert.

Members of Riverside Fire Authority today are on standby, and ready to protect any structures or be available for any emergency medical services, according to Kytta.

The concerns today are two-fold, the chief said.

The “fuel package” is very dry, because of the stretch of hot weather and the area could get lightening tonight and the conditions that would bring, he said.

“You’ll have the wind pick up and that can cause spotting and spreading of the fire,” he said.

DNR today banned all outdoor burning on DNR protected lands, including campfires and offered a message to those who ignore them: Those who start or spread fires are subject to civil and criminal penalties.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Crane Street fire outside Tenino under control

Monday, August 11, 2014 at 9:44 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A wild fire that started about two miles southeast of Tenino yesterday afternoon was contained last night but personnel from the  state Department of Natural Resources are at the fire station this morning and likely will be utilizing one of the school buildings as a base to support further work on that parcel and also on another fire that flared up yesterday evening.

Thurston County Fire District 12 was called about 3:11 p.m. to unimproved property at the 17200 block of Crane Street Southeast, on Bluemauer Hill for a brush fire reported to be about five feet by five feet, according to District 12 Battalion Chief Jim Fowler .

“Within just a few minutes, it was a 10-acre fire,” Fowler said this morning.

Members of nine other fire departments joined them, to work on extinguishing grass, brush, trees and other vegetation, he said.

By about 7:30 p.m., an eight-foot wide path was bulldozed around it, he said.

A shack and two vehicles on the 40-acre parcel burned, according to Fowler.

Crews arrived from as far away as Napavine to protect homes as close as 300 feet away, he said.

Fowler said the property previously belonged to a timber company, and he believes it now belongs to a man who uses it for outdoor parties, one of which began Friday night and went into Saturday night, he said.

The scene was turned over to DNR about 8 p.m.

Fowler said it grew to about 13 acres. A spokesperson from DNR last night described at around 20 acres.

Members of Tenino’s District 12 are assisting DNR with mopup there this morning, he said.

“Then of course there’s the threat of lightning over the next couple of days, so I think they’re going to stay,” Fowler said of DNR.

DNR is working a second fire that began last night about a mile to the east of the Crane Street fire, off Johnson Creek Road Southeast, at a gravel pit on timberland owner by Weyerhaeuser, according to Fowler.

A 10-person DNR hand crew is out there this morning “limbing” trees, he said. Fowler this morning said he understood that fire covered about six acres. It’s an area where there are no homes and can’t be accessed by trucks, he said.

Fowler has a DNR level three incident management team with him this morning at the fire station, and noted he understood the wildfire in Shelton that also began yesterday afternoon is pretty much out.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Timber ignites near clear-cut area west of Centralia

Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 7:18 pm
2014.0810.teague.road.fromlbanyroad.deb.meyers

Smoke from Teague Road fire viewed from Albany Street in Rochester. / Courtesy photo by Deb Meyers

Updated at 7:44 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Three large wildfires ignited this afternoon in Southwest Washington, all about the same time including west of Centralia and near Tenino, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

A fire off Teague Road in north Lewis County was reported to Riverside Fire Department about 3:10 p.m.

A spokesperson for DNR said it is burning in 40-year-old timber and threatening structures. Janet Pearce said she didn’t know if that meant homes or outbuildings.

The state agency has air resources on that fire, Pearce said.

Near Crane Road in Tenino, a brush fire has covered about 20 acres and also is threatening structures, according to Pearce. One structure and two vehicles had been lost before 7:30 p.m., according to a tweet from DNR

A third fire in Shelton is threatening the Simpson Lumber Mill, Pearce said about 7 o’clock this evening.

Riverside Fire Authority which protects Centralia and its surrounding area tweeted the brush fire began about three miles past the end of Teague Road in a clear-cut area and as of 6 p.m. had grown to 25 acres.

Ryan Weaver of Napavine said he and a friend went to visit a buddy on Deep Creek Road in Adna and as they were leaving, smelled smoke.

They took the logging road that goes to Teague Road and about halfway there, found a slash pile burning, Weaver said. Roughly two acres around it were on fire and spreading fast, so they called 911, he said.

Weaver said a plane was circling overhead and they warned a man who was out shooting a gun there was fire.

Riverside Fire Authority Firefighter-paramedic Chris Layton said there was no way to know this early how or why a slash pile was burning during the burn ban.

RFA’s public information officer notes fire managers are asking the public to stay clear of the area, as traffic is creating problems in the area on logging roads.

DNR tweeted at about 7:18 p.m. that 10 acres in grass and brush were burning in the Johnson Creek are of south Thurston County.

More information to come.

Meanwhile, follow comments, photos and updates from readers on Lewis County Sirens Facebook page.

2014.0810.teagueroad.ryan.weaver

A burning slash pile is discovered off a logging road beyond Teague Road about 3 p.m. today. / Courtesy photo by Ryan Weaver

 

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

On the run: Lewis County deputies seeking three in connection with large-scale fuel theft

Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 2:19 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The man arrested when deputies found a variety of items at a property in Doty linking him to the theft of about $6,000 in fuel from a Silver Creek gas station has disappeared, and it seems he’s not who he said he was.

2014.0806.john.lewis.doty

John Lewis, aka Jason A. Lewis

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office was investigating a nighttime incident captured on surveillance cameras at the Texaco when they searched property at the 100 block of Elk Creek Road in Doty late last month. They turned up a half dozen plug-in access keypads used to override gasoline pumps, plus a canopied pickup truck with darkened windows which held two large fuel tanks, a portable pump and a nozzle.

A man identified as Jason A. Lewis, 47, was found near a recreational vehicle parked inside a barn and tried to run, but was detained and subsequently charged with  first-degree theft, first-degree trafficking in stolen property and possession of methamphetamine, according to court documents.

His bail was set at $20,000 when he went before a judge, in part because prosecutors believed he had an extensive criminal history in California, under a different name.

Last week, detectives concluded he was actually John Lewis, that he was using his brother’s name, and that he had fraudulent identification for it.

2014.0809.harold.lusk_.doty_.jpg

Harold E. Lusk

On Wednesday, detective Dan Riordan said Lewis bailed out of jail, and they were looking for him for identity theft. Riordan believed Lewis and his girlfriend would be traveling in the motorhome he had previously parked in the Doty barn. It’s a 1994 Mountain Air, registered to his brother, according to the detective.

Lewis didn’t show up for his scheduled court hearing on Thursday, where he and his court-appointed attorney were expected to appear for his arraignment on the original charge.

The sheriff’s office says Lewis may accompanied by his girlfriend, Jodi Hamer.

They are asking for help in locating him.

Lewis is one of three people charged on Aug. 1 in connection with the July 28 theft of about 1,600 gallons of fuel, including regular unleaded gasoline, highway diesel and off-road diesel.

Also charged were 28-year-old Harold E. Lusk who resides on the Elk Creek property, and Raymond T. Hankins, 48, from Yelm.

2014.0809.alyssa.hanson.doty

Alyssa J. Hanson

This past Wednesday, authorities charged Lusk’s girlfriend, 20-year-old Alyssa J. Hanson with trafficking in stolen property and possession of methamphetamine.

Charging documents state Hanson spoke with detectives when the property was searched and she acknowledged she and Lusk split their time between living in a travel trailer there and the house, both places in which suspected meth was found. She allegedly said Lusk acquired fuel and that she and him distributed it to others from the Elk Creek Road property, according to court documents.

The case began to come together when deputies recognized two faces and a license plate on the surveillance video, put together with an earlier tip from an unnamed person who told law enforcement Lusk and his associates had been stealing large amounts of gasoline from local gas stations.

The unnamed individual also said Lusk and a man from California who was hiding in Lusk’s barn in a trailer were cooking methamphetamine for sale. No mention was made in Lewis’s charging documents of of meth-making materials located during the search.

However, according to court documents, numerous containers of gasoline, including a 55-gallon drum of it were discovered.

Lusk’s warrant includes four counts of unlawful possession of firearms, in connection with guns found that day.

Detectives thought Hanson and Lusk may still be in Lewis County, or may have been planning to leave the state.

Meanwhile, Hankins was picked up on his warrant in Thurston County, and bailed out, but appeared out-of-custody in Lewis County Superior Court on Thursday. Judge James Lawler allowed Hankins to remain free on the $25,000 bail he posted.

His arraignment is set for this coming Thursday.

The sheriff’s office asks anyone with information on the whereabouts of Lusk, Hanson or Lewis to phone them at 360-748-9286 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-748-6422 if they wish to remain anonymous or earn a reward.

•••

For background, read “Sheriff’s Office: Large scale gasoline stealing operation uncovered” from Friday August 1, 2014, here

2014.0807.RAYMOND.TIMOTHY.HANKINS.6700.doty

Raymond T. Hankins, 48, is represented by defense attorney Bob Schroeter when he appears before a judge on Thursday in Lewis County Superior Court  to hear the charges against him.
.

2014.0806.suspect.lewis.motorhomephoto

Lewis County sheriff’s detectives share this photo of a 1994 Mountain Air – with a fox emblem – similar to the one John Lewis may be driving.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 11:59 am

DRIVER PINNED AFTER HIGHWAY 12 CRASH

• An 18-year-old Salkum resident is being treated at Providence Centralia Hospital after a single-vehicle wreck on U.S. Highway 12 that left his legs trapped beneath his car early this morning. Troopers and aid called about 4:30 a.m. to the area near Jackson Highway found Roberto A. Sanchez had rolled his 1996 Hyundai and was ejected, according to the Washington State Patrol. The car was probably 30 feet off the south side of the roadway and up against a tree, not really visible to passing traffic, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. The patient didn’t know how long he’d been there or remember what happened, Firefighter Maria Kennedy said. “He called himself in,” Kennedy said. “If he didn’t have a phone, I don’t know how long he’d have been sitting there; probably until the sun came up.” With help from a crew from Lewis County Fire District 6, troopers, a deputy and a paramedic, they were able to safely raise the car and remove the young man, Kennedy said. By that time, he was alert and oriented and doing surprisingly well, she said. The investigating trooper concluded Sanchez had been traveling eastbound and fallen asleep, without a seatbelt. He was cited for second-degree negligent driving, according to the state patrol.

DRIVER KILLED IN CAPITOL FOREST

• A 53-year-old Tacoma man is dead after a wreck in the Capitol Forest yesterday, in which a UTV went off the road, down an embankment and rolled. Richard S. Daniel was driving a 2014 Kawasaki KRT800 – also known as a side-by-side, according to Trooper Guy Gill – on the B-Line Road just west of the C-Line Road at Rock Candy Mountain, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers called about 1:30 p.m. found his two passengers unhurt. The crash was blamed on going too fast.

BRUSH IGNITES NEAR WINLOCK HOME

• Firefighters from three surrounding departments joined Lewis County Fire District 15 yesterday afternoon when a brush fire broke out north of Winlock. Crews called about 4:15 p.m. to the area near Tennessee and Nelson roads found grass, trees and blackberry bushes burning and heading toward a home, District 5 Firefighter Maria Kennedy said. “We immediately put a defensive line around the residence,” Kennedy said. District 5 Chief Gregg Peterson, who served as incident commander, said it covered probably less than an acre and two small outbuildings burned. Nobody was hurt, personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources took over and will be determining the cause, Peterson said.

MISSING GUN FOUND

• Centralia police recovered a firearm stolen in Everett during a traffic stop at Cherry Street and Tower Avenue late yesterday afternoon. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 38-year-old Kelso woman was arrested for possession of methamphetamine last night after contact with an officer about 9 p.m. at Main and Yew streets in Centralia. Lisa M. Cahoon was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants driving under the influence; responses for misdemeanor assault … and more.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Updated at 6:29 p.m.

FIRE IN CENTRALIA’S INDUSTRIAL PARK

• Five engines and a ladder truck responded when a fire broke out at Sierra Pacific in Centralia this morning. The fire was in a building connected to the structure that holds the sawmill’s boiler, a ways away from where they do the milling, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The 9:23 a.m. alarm activation at  the 3100 block of Kuper Road in the Port of Centralia’s industrial park off Harrison Avenue drew crews from Chehalis and Rochester as well, Capt. Terry Ternan said. “They opened up the wall, shut the power off and extinguished the fire,” Ternan said. There was a little bit of extension into the ceiling and firefighters were on the scene about two hours, he said. Ternan didn’t know the cause but described the damage to the smaller building as significant. “Not a lot of dollar loss, but a lot of cleanup,” he said. Employees on the scene got on the cleanup while firefighters were there, he said.

RANDLE RESIDENTIAL FIRE RULED ACCIDENTAL

• A fire investigator found wiring had shorted out in the back of an old stove, sparking a fire on the 100 block of Kiona Road in Randle yesterday morning. No one had been there for a few days, Fire Investigator Jay Birley said this morning. The fire damage to the double-wide mobile home was primarily contained to the kitchen, but left smoke damage throughout, according to Lewis County Fire District 14 Chief Jeff Jaques.

FUNNY MONEY

• Centralia police were called yesterday morning to a store on the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue that had taken in two fake $100 bills.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence; responses for hit and run, collision on city street … and more.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Primary election: Centralia area fire department gains support for increased taxes

Friday, August 8, 2014 at 8:05 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Three days after the primary election and after the counting today of further ballots that arrived in the mail, Riverside Fire Authority Chief Mike Kytta said he thinks now he can say the levy has passed.

The fire department that protects Centralia and its surrounding area asked citizens to consider a new maintenance and operations levy, to supplement a steeply declining budget.

Just over 65 percent of voters said yes, according to a second tally conducted today by election officials.

The estimated levy rate is 49 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value and will be used for fire protection and rescue services, facilities, maintenance, staffing and operations.

“Our entire organization of course is very, very thankful to the voters,” Kytta said this afternoon.

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.

The department has already seen a nearly 30 percent loss in response forces this year, according to the chief. Passing the levy won’t bring those employees back, he said.

“It won’t return things to pre-2014 level, but hopefully we’re stabilized,” Kytta said.

Mainly, they were trying to get ahead of predicted losses of revenue next year, where uncertainty still remains, Kytta said.

Tuesday’s primary election has seen a turnout of just shy of 34 percent. It won’t be certified until Aug. 19.

Most of the ballots that will count have been counted, according to Lewis County Election Supervisor Mariann Zumbuhl.

Riverside needed a 60 percent super majority for its measure.

Voters south of Ashford in the region around what is known as the Big Creek area or Paradise Estates appear to have passed a fire department levy as well.

In Lewis County Fire District 17 Big Creek-Mineral, 41 of the 52 individuals who cast ballots said yes to replace an expiring EMS levy.

That’s nearly 79 percent and they only needed 50 percent plus one vote, according to Zumbuhl.

Many other items were on the ballot, but won’t be decided until the November general election, such as the contested race for Lewis County sheriff.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield announced in February he would retire at the end of this year.

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Rob Snaza secured nearly 78 percent of the votes.

Brian Green, a former member of the U.S. Navy who performs in and manages a local band of musicians, took almost 22 percent of the votes.

Snaza is listed on the ballot as preferring the Republican Party, Green prefers the Independent Party.

Also among those on the ballot, but running without challengers were Jonathan Meyer looking or a second term as county prosecutor, Warren McLeod aiming for a second term as county coroner, and Kathy Brack heading for a fourth term as county clerk.

Click here to see the rest of the races.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, August 8, 2014 at 11:18 am

Updated at 6:12 p.m.

ACRE OF BRUSH IN NORTH CENTRALIA BURNS

• Members of Riverside Fire Authority spent the better part of five hours today extinguishing a fire on property next to the abandoned Centralia Plywood Mill at the north end of town. Crews were called about 10 a.m. to the area where Central Boulevard dead ends after they began to get calls about a large amount of thick black smoke, Chief Mike Kytta said. “We did find fire in vegetation, so it was in grass, brush and some trees,” he said. “It spread out over about one acre.” The chief said they had reason to suspect it may have been burning all night, as they found deeply charred logs. The smoke began when the rubber on old conveyors and tires laying around ignited, he said. They were joined by an engine from Chehalis. Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal Rick Mack is looking into the cause, he said. The area is overgrown with berry vines, and not really frequented, he said. Representatives of the property owners, Jorgensen Timber LLC, were bringing in an excavator and planned to sit on it and watching for spot fires, according to Kytta.

RANDLE HOME CATCHES FIRE

• Firefighters responded about 9 o’clock this morning to a fire in a double wide mobile home in Randle that appeared accidental, according to Lewis County Fire District 14. Chief Jeff Jaques said nobody was home at the time at the residence on the 100 block of Kiona Road. “There was fire damage to the kitchen but there was smoke damage throughout,” Jaques said. It was extinguished by 11 members of the fire departments in Randle and Glenoma. The cause is being looked into by a fire investigator, he said.

ASSAULT

• Police were called to the emergency room at Providence Centralia Hospital about 5:10 a.m. today after a patient allegedly punched a nurse in the face. Further details were not readily available.

THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 4:20 p.m. yesterday to the 1600 block of Johnson Road regarding the theft of jewelry.

• Chehalis police were contacted yesterday about a compound bow missing from Northwest Middle Street.

DRUGS

• A 22-year-old woman was arrested yesterday in Chehalis for alleged possession of heroin in connection with a search of a vehicle discovered unoccupied after a short police pursuit early last week. Sarah J. Branam, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Centralia police arrested two underage males yesterday evening for possession of marijuana at the 1200 block of Woodland Avenue. Grant T. Brandt, 20, of Centralia, and Dakota J. Tryon, 18 of Olympia, were cited and then released according to the Centralia Police Department.

DOG FIGHT

• An Onalaska pet already labeled a potentially dangerous dog from a June incident is in trouble again after allegedly fighting with a neighbor dog and biting the neighbor who tried to break it up last night. A deputy called to the 500 block of Burnt Ridge Road was told by the 64-year-old man he heard his dog yelping as they walked back from the mailbox, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said he got bit near his thumb and his pet had injuries on its stomach and leg but didn’t note what if any injuries the Pit Bull sustained. Its owner, a 28-year-old Onalaskan, will be getting a citation in the mail, Brown said. The case will also be referred to animal control for review, according to Brown.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, resisting arrest; responses for disputes, misdemeanor theft, violation of protection order; complaint of surly subject in a wheelchair at freeway offramp, woman screaming at children to quit crying in Wal-Mart parking lot … and more.