Local Briefly

Smoke alarm alerts Brier woman to fire

BRIER — An elderly woman escaped a fire at her Brier home Wednesday morning after her smoke alarm alerted her to the blaze.

The fire was reported about 5:45 a.m. in a double-wide mobile home in the 3200 block of 232nd Street SW. Brier police officers arrived to find the woman on her front porch with smoke pouring out the front door. The officers helped the woman to safety as firefighters arrived, said Leslie Hynes, spokeswoman for Snohomish County Fire District 1.

Firefighters quickly doused the flames, which were burning underneath the floor of the home.

The woman was not injured. Two dogs and two dozen birds also survived the fire.

Investigators believe the fire started near the furnace. The blaze damaged the floor, wiring and plumbing underneath the mobile home and caused heavy smoke damage, leaving it uninhabitable. The woman has insurance. She and her grandson plan to stay with relatives.

“This fire might have had a tragic outcome if the smoke alarm hadn’t sounded to wake the woman,” Hynes said.

Hynes encouraged people to test their smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries at least twice a year. Fire District 1 installs free smoke alarms to residents in the district’s service area, which includes unincorporated areas of south Snohomish County and the cities of Brier and Mountlake Terrace.

For more information, call Kim Schroeder at 425-551-1254.

Oak Harbor: School workers to strike

The union representing 300 Oak Harbor School District classified employees has voted overwhelmingly to go on strike beginning Monday after months of contract talks failed to reach agreement.

The vote Tuesday was 123-31 in favor of authorizing a strike.

Members of the Public School Employees union also voted down the latest contract offer from the district Tuesday. The union represents accounting assistants, educational assistants, custodians, bus drivers, and warehouse, food service, grounds, maintenance, secretarial, security and technology workers.

“Every year, we are promised better wages from the school district,” said Tom Coe, a computer network technician and spokesman for the union. “We’ve had enough with the disrespect and empty promises. We’re no better off now than we were 10 or 15 years ago.”

The union members have been working without a contract since Aug. 31. The union and district have held 21 negotiating sessions and the last four with the assistance of a state mediator.

Union members realize a work stoppage can be disruptive to students and their parents, Coe said.

“We’re giving the community as much notice as we can,” he said. “We simply have no choice other than a strike to reach a fair settlement.”

Wages are a key issue, both sides said.

Joe Hunt, a school district spokesman, said the district hasn’t decided whether it will hold classes or not on Monday.

“We are asking the mediator to get both sides back to the table,” Hunt said. “We certainly hope to get it resolved. It is definitely our priority.”

Everett: Store is robbed; man sought

Sheriff’s deputies said they are looking for a man who robbed a convenience store early Wednesday morning.

Police were called about 4 a.m. to the 500 block of 128th Street SW, Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said.

A man reportedly walked into the store, showed a gun, demanded cash and then left with an undisclosed amount of money, Hover said.

No one was hurt. Deputies searched the area but were unable to find the robbery suspect, she said.

He is described as white, in his early- to mid-20s, and was wearing black pants and a black coat.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s tip line at 425-388-3845.

Lynnwood: Prison time for fatal wreck

A Seattle man who drove away from police at high speed, crashed a stolen car that killed a friend was sentenced this week to more than five years in prison.

Ian Forrest Strawn, 25, pleaded guilty in Snohomish County Superior Court to vehicular homicide, attempting to elude a police vehicle, possession of a stolen car and having methamphetamine, deputy prosecutor Ed Stemler said.

Atlas Wheless Jr., 38, of Edmonds was killed when the car Strawn was driving went out of control on a curve at 212th Street SW.

Lynnwood police had been pursuing the car Sept. 15 after officers responded to a report of a stolen car on Highway 99. Strawn saw patrol cars approaching and drove away, reaching speeds of more than 80 mph, according to court documents.

Sultan: Fire disrupts middle school events

A dryer fire at Sultan Middle School on Tuesday caused minor damage and disrupted afternoon sports and club activities, officials said.

The fire started around 5 p.m. in a large, commercial dryer, Sultan School District superintendant Dan Chaplik said.

Sprinklers extinguished the blaze and no one was hurt. The extent of damage, mostly caused by water from the sprinklers, is not know, Chaplik said.

Edmonds: Possible abduction attempted

Police are looking for a man who may have tried to abduct a teenage boy on Monday.

A 13-year-old boy was walking home from playing basketball at a nearby elementary school. He was northbound in the 21900 block of 96th Avenue W. when a dark green sport utility vehicle pulled up behind him. The boy told police the driver opened the passenger door and ordered him to get in the vehicle, Edmonds police Sgt. Don Anderson said.

The boy ran home after the 5:40 p.m. encounter. He was not hurt and reported the incident to his father.

The suspect drove slowly through the neighborhood and eventually left northbound on 96th Avenue W.

The suspect is described as white, in his 20s with a heavy build. He’s about 6 feet tall. He has short, straight hair and a goatee. He was wearing a white sleeveless shirt. He also had a silver hoop in his nose.

The vehicle was similar to a Ford Expedition and may have a dent in the passenger door.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the tip line at 425-771-0212.

Marysville: Three flee police after stop

Police said they are looking for three men who fled after a traffic stop Wednesday morning.

An officer stopped a car about 9 a.m. near the intersection of 116th Street NE and State Avenue, Marysville police Cmdr. Ralph Krusey said.

Officer chased the men, and nearby Marhsall Elementary School was placed in lockdown as a precaution, he said.

Police searched the area for the men but were unable to find them, Krusey said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Marysville police at 360-363-8300.

From Herald staff reports

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