Idaho Falls, ID: At approximately 1:22 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Idaho Falls Fire Department was dispatched to the 700 block of North Skyline Drive for a structure fire. It was reported that one occupant inside the one-story, multi-family dwelling began to evacuate as firefighters arrived on scene. Law enforcement on scene reported flames coming from the back of the structure. Two engines, a ladder truck, three ambulances and a battalion chief responded.
When firefighters arrived on scene they reported smoke coming from the eaves of a home that had been remodeled into three separate units. There was one adult inside the upper unit at the time of the fire who called 911 and reported the fire. The one adult who lived in the adjacent upper unit where the fire originated was not home when the fire started but returned home shortly thereafter. The unit downstairs was vacant.
While some of the firefighters began to locate and extinguish the fire, others were searching the upstairs and basement living quarters to ensure that all occupants were safely evacuated. The primary search of the residence was all clear. Additional firefighters and medics were on standby to provide medical care, if needed, and backup and assistance to the crews fighting the fire. The Idaho Falls Police Department blocked off the area at Broadway and Skyline Drive and assisted with traffic control.
Locating and fighting the fire was challenging for firefighters as access was limited due to the building design and construction. Firefighters reported that they were getting control of the fire in the room of origin at approximately 1:43 a.m., but there was zero visibility due to the smoke, and thermal imaging showed significant heat coming from the metal sheeting layered over tar and gravel on the roof.
By approximately 1:57 a.m. they had good knock down of the fire inside the room of origin. Firefighters began pulling down the ceiling to look for extension and cutting holes in the metal roof to ventilate the smoke, reporting that the trusses were completely exposed. Fans were set up to assist with ventilation.
The battalion chief called for engine 2 to be dispatched to the fire to begin investigations until the incident could be turned over to the Fire Prevention and Investigations Division. Law enforcement opened the street back up shortly after 3:00 a.m. Firefighters remained on scene for several hours to ensure that the fire was completely extinguished.
There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.
The estimated damages and cause of the fire are unknown at this time. The fire is under investigation.