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At 4:38 p.m. this afternoon the Idaho Falls Fire Department responded to a structure fire that initially came in as an outside fire at the 1400 block of Ashment Avenue in Idaho Falls. The address was later updated to the 1300 block of Elizabeth Circle, near the intersection of Ashment Avenue and Nixon Avenue, just west of the College of Eastern Idaho (CEI).
The reporting party told Idaho Falls/Bonneville County Emergency Communication Officers (dispatchers) that there was a fire in some grass that was quickly spreading to garages located in an alleyway between apartment buildings. The call was upgraded to a structure fire, and additional fire apparatus were dispatched.
When firefighters arrived to the single story garage complex, the fire had spread to the middle garage located within the four-unit garage structure. The wind was pushing the fire north to the adjoining garage units, but firefighters were able to get the flames under control and extinguish the fire. IFFD requested officers from the Idaho Falls Police Department to respond to close Ashment Avenue and Nixon Avenue to block traffic and allow room for fire apparatus and personnel to work. Security from CEI also assisted by shutting down the Ashment Avenue entrance to the college as a safety precaution.
The renter of the unit told IFFD personnel that he was using a grinder near the garage when a spark accidentally caught the grass on fire. He made attempts to extinguish the fire, but the dry grass and wind made the fire spread quickly.
There were no injuries to civilians or first responders.
Damages are estimated at approximately $120,000 for the structure and $40,000 for the contents inside the structure. While most of the fire was contained to the middle garage, there was either structural or smoke damage to each of the four garage units. IFFD's Fire Prevention and Investigation Division also responded to conduct a full fire investigation.
IFFD reminds the community to pay close attention when working with equipment to make sure the work is being done in a safe manner and at a location away from anything that can catch fire, especially during hot, dry and windy conditions.
For more fire prevention information, click HERE.
Media Contact: Kerry Hammon, Public Information Officer, (208) 612-8122, [email protected]