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Articles written by Matt Stephens

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  • Mullinix Road fire quickly subdued

    Matt Stephens, Free Press Publishing|Aug 24, 2023

    CHENEY - On the morning of Aug. 21 Spokane County Fire District No. 3 firefighters responded to several brush fires burning along Mullinix Road. At one point, 5 acres burned quickly, but were doused. District No. 3 firefighters received additional support from Cheney Fire Department, Spokane County Fire District No. 10 (Airway Heights), Turnbull Wildlife Refuge and the state Department of Natural Resources. The cause is under investigation....

  • Medical Lake man saves neighbor from Gray Fire

    MATT STEPHENS, Free Press Publishing|Aug 24, 2023

    MEDICAL LAKE — In the midst of the chaos Friday, Aug. 18, one local man stared through the danger to save his disabled neighbor. Tyler Lust was at work in Cheney when he got word of the evacuation notices for his neighborhood in Medical Lake. “I heard that Greengate Road was being evacuated, so I raced home because I have two dogs I wanted to save,” Lust said. “On my way out, I noticed my neighbor was pretty hysterical in her yard. “I asked if she needed help, and she said her husband was stuck in the house and couldn’t get out.” Leisa Anderso...

  • Cheney church offers clothing

    Matt Stephens, Free Press Publishing|Aug 24, 2023

    CHENEY - What started as a back-to-school drive has transformed into a clothing drive for victims of regional wildfires. According to Cheney Church of the Nazarene Pastor Chuck Perry, the congregation decided to do some early preparation for a back-to-school clothing drive. Little did they know the Gray, and Oregon Road and Winona Fires would change their plans. "The funny thing is we were actually gathering clothes for kids going back to school," Perry said. "But then the fires hit, and for...

  • Veterinarian taking care of rescued pets

    Matt Stephens, Free Press Publishing|Aug 24, 2023

    CHENEY - A local veterinary clinic has been assisting the ongoing animal rescue efforts after the Gray Fire. Many animals went missing or escaped when the fire ripped through Medical Lake neighborhoods Friday, Aug. 18. In the days since, a volunteers have come together to rescue, treat and reunite animals with their families. According to Cheney Veterinary Clinic technician Lillian Nowlin and Assistant Manager Marrisa Dormaier, hundreds of animals have needed rescue and treatment following the...

  • Wildfire evacuees cling to hope

    Matt Stephens, Free Press Publishing|Aug 24, 2023

    SPOKANE - In a matter of minutes, the Gray Fire grew into an aggressive beast that scorched more than 10,000 acres. The fire had authorities calling for Level III evacuation notices for 5,000-plus residents of the Medical Lake and Four Lakes areas Friday Aug. 18. As flames quickly swept over the hills behind Lakeland Village, nearby Medical Lake residents such as Catherine Swan didn't have a lot of time to gather belongings before fleeing. "I knew there was a fire nearby," Swan said. "I just did...