Just before 7 a.m. this morning, Feb. 21, the Idaho Falls Fire Department was dispatched to the 1500 block of Woodruff Avenue for a structure fire.
One adult female was at home when her dog London began barking, alerting her to smoke and an electrical smell coming from a breaker box. The resident called 9-1-1.
When firefighters arrived to the west side of the Three Fountains Condominium complex located on Woodruff Avenue near its intersection with 16th Street they reported a two-story multifamily dwelling with no smoke or flames immediately seen from the outside of the building. Residents were evacuating from the 8-unit complex while firefighters began searching both the outside and inside of the building.
Smoke was discovered coming from the corner of a second floor condo as well as from the vents near the roof. Firefighters made access to the roof, attic, and crawl space to investigate where the smoke was originating. When they made access inside the second floor condo they discovered smoke coming from the breaker box which was then tracked to some electrical conduit and eventually down into a crawl space were fire was found under the first floor.
Firefighters cut a hole in the floor, extinguished the fire, and pulled down ceilings to make sure there was no extension of the fire elsewhere. There were no injuries to civilians or first responders.
The Idaho Falls Police Department temporarily closed off the southbound lane of Woodruff Avenue and controlled traffic while Idaho Falls Power secured utilities and the Chaplains of Idaho assisted the individuals who were displaced from their homes.
Initial damages were estimated at approximately $80,000 with at least one of the units being unlivable. There was smoke damage to adjoining units. The Chaplains of Idaho and Red Cross helped a total of seven individuals with finding a temporary place to stay either due to damage caused by the fire or because of power being shut off to the entire building for an undetermined amount of time.
While the homeowner reported smoke coming from a breaker box, the official cause of the fire is under investigation by IFFD’s Fire Prevention and Investigation Division.
Photo of London the dog courtesy of the Chaplains of Idaho.
Media Contact: Kerry Hammon, Public Information Officer, (208) 612-8122, firstname.lastname@example.org