Fire & EMS
Toledo home taken by fire
No injuries were reported when aid responded to a house ablaze in Toledo Jan. 22, though three dogs had to be rescued, according to Lewis County Fire District 2.
The single-story manufactured home, near the intersection of 2nd St. and Alder St., was filled with smoke when firefighters arrived at around 11:15 a.m., with District 2 Captain Tracy Summers stating flames were primarily contained to a laundry room, and were spreading to the attic.
Crews from Toledo, Winlock, Napavine and Castle Rock arrived on scene to help douse the blaze, which Summers said was under control within around half-an-hour.
He added firefighters were able to diminish smoke damage by opening up the roof quickly so water could be applied more directly to the flames, and said the scene was cleared by around 1:50 p.m.
Rescued from the house were three small dogs, Summers said, adding the residents had not been home at the time. The cause of the fire had not been determined as of the time of the report.
Winlock family safe after early-morning fire
Four Winlock residents are safe after escaping a fire during the early hours of Saturday morning, according to Lewis County Fire District 15.
A double-wide mobile home on the 100 block of Evergreen Ln., north of Winlock, had caught fire around 1:30 a.m. Two adults and two children, who had been sleeping at the time, exited the structure when they were alerted by smoke detectors, and their pet dog was later rescued when fire crews responded.
Teams from Winlock, Toledo, Vader, Ryderwood and Napavine, as well as Lewis County Medic One, responded to the scene and were able to contain the blaze by around 2:50 a.m. No injuries to either the victims or the responders were reported, and it was said the American Red Cross will be providing housing assistance for the displaced family.
The cause of the fire was still under investigation as of the time of the report.
Collisions & Injuries
Cause of fatal Vader collision still unknown
The cause of a fatal collision in Vader on Jan. 21 remains under investigation, though it has been confirmed the driver, an elderly Oregon man, died from his injuries.
The Lewis County Coroner’s Office confirmed Friday Richard T. Brunaugh, 70, of Cottage Grove, Ore., was killed when he was ejected from his pickup truck after crossing the intersection of Toledo/Vader Rd. and SR 506 at high speed and striking a concrete barrier. Further studies are expected to determine if any medical factors led to his failure to stop at the intersection, according to the Coroner’s Office.
A 12-year-old cocker spaniel had also been injured in the collision and suffered a broken spine, later to be euthanized by the Lewis County Animal Shelter due to what was termed a diminished quality of life.
The collision remains under the investigation of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Washington State Patrol.
Elderly Toledo man struck by motorist
A local man suffered only minor injuries after being struck by a motorist in Downtown Toledo Jan. 22, according to the Toledo Police Department.
The 75-year-old Toledo man had been crossing 2nd St. to reach the Post Office when a 66-year-old Toledo woman driving a 2006 Chevrolet Mailbu tuned left from Cowlitz St. and struck the man, injuring his left knee.
The motorist herself was injured while exiting the vehicle to hurry to nearby City Hall and report the incident, though both she and the pedestrian refused aid when EMTs arrived.
According to police, the motorist said she simply had not seen the man when she was making the turn, and she was cited for failing to yield at a crosswalk.
Arrests & Referrals
Napavine woman booked for Toledo theft
A Napavine woman has been arrested following an investigation into a metal theft taking place near Toledo last month, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
Alicia J. Gullickson, 40, was contacted Jan. 12 by investigators following a lead from a tipster who had indicated Gullickson’s involvement in a Dec. 6 burglary on the 800 block of Jackson Hwy, south of Toledo. Stolen at the time had been items including 60 feet of aluminum wire and the transmission to a 1939 Chevrolet pickup.
After an interview with Gullickson, deputies booked her into the Lewis County Jail for burglary, second degree.
Mother arrested for abuse of 4-year-old son
A Winlock woman has been arrested and charged with assault of a child following the ongoing abuse of her 4-year-old son at the hands of the woman’s boyfriend, according to court documents.
Heather L. McNurlin, 23, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of allowing her live-in boyfriend, Ryon T. Connery, 31, to physically and mentally abuse the boy as well as deprive him of food, according to related physicians reports.
The victim had been taken to Providence Centralia Hospital on November to be treated for a broken finger and, upon examination, was referred to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office for suspected child abuse.
Connery was arrested Nov. 30 after deputies interviewed the boy, as well as his grandparents, who told of how the victim had been forced to do wall sits and pushups as punishment, in addition to being forcefully struck on the legs and back and being sprayed with a cold water hose for infractions such as taking bread without permission and wetting his pants.
The abuse is expected to have taken place over four months (the time the couple had been dating) and McNurlin is accused of giving her explicit permission for some of the punishments, as well as thinking of some herself, according to court documents.
Connery pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of third-degree assault of a child Jan. 22 while McNurlin was formerly charged on the same count and released on $5,000 unsecured bond. It has been recommended Connery receive 16 months in prison and he is expected to be sentenced next month. McNurlin is expected to be arraigned Feb. 1.
Winlock woman charged for lottery ticket thefts
A Winlock woman has been charged with stealing an estimated $175,000 in cash and lottery tickets from a Toledo convenience store where she was once employed, according to the Toledo Police Department.
Katrina M. Bowen, 37, is suspected of stealing scratch-off tickets, as well as money used by customers to pay for beer purchases, and was summoned to court Jan. 22 to appear for a charge of first-degree theft.
A criminal investigation had begun Oct. 1 after the owner of the Flying K gas station, on the 100 block of Cowlitz St., had contacted law enforcement regarding a significant loss in revenue. Bowen, who was described as employed at the store since 2004, had already been terminated when the investigation began, after reportedly being confronted by the owner and stating she intended to pay for the stolen lottery tickets at a later date.
When contacted by law enforcement, Bowen reportedly said the thefts had gone on for around six months, during which time she said she would scratch off around 500 $5 lottery tickets during her shifts, as well as steal money from beer sales. She reportedly told police she had a gambling problem and needed extra money to live on, claiming she had not received a pay raise from her employer during the nine years she worked there.
She has been released on a $10,000 bond and is expected to be arraigned Thursday.
A similar theft took place when Benjamin C. Macy, 54, formerly of Winlock, was charged with stealing close to $1 million from the Cedar Village IGA in lottery tickets and illicit lottery winnings, after having been employed at the store for around 30 years. He was sentenced Dec. 21, 2011, to 14 months in prison and lost his house, a costly coin collection and close to $305,000 when paying restitution in a related civil case.
Those with information about ongoing investigations are encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (360) 740-1266 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-748-6422.
Toledo school district burgled again
Roughly a year to the date, someone has burglarized the Toledo School District, though taking far less than the significant amount of items stolen last year, according to the Toledo Police Department.
Believed to have taken place during the weekend of Jan. 18, it was reported Jan. 22 someone had entered the district offices on the 200 block of 5th St. and taken a laptop computer, a digital camera and loose change, among other items, totaling an estimated loss of around $1,000.
This pales compared to the loss of around $16,000 in items stolen from the district’s maintenance facility the weekend of Jan. 19, 2013, which included the loss of two pickup trucks, $3,780 in copper pipe, and almost every piece of equipment and material (down to wire snips engine oil) located in the building.
There has been no indication the two crimes are connected, according to Toledo Police Chief John Brockmueller, who said both incidents remain under investigation. He added, while actionable evidence in the 2013 burglary has yet to be found (though parties of interest have been identified), his department is hoping to analyze what could be fingerprints left at the scene of the more recent theft to determine the identity of the suspect(s) involved.
Brockmueller went on to state no forced entry had been made into the office, adding he has found no reason to believe any employees of the district perpetrated the crime.