At 5:08 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, the Idaho Falls Fire Department and Idaho Falls Police Department were dispatched to a structure fire at the 200 block of Melbourne Drive in Idaho Falls.
One of the reporting parties told the Dispatcher/Emergency Communications Officer (ECO) that there was a fire in the alley and possibly an upstairs apartment.
Engine 4 was the first arriving engine on scene, arriving at 5:14 p.m. Firefighters noted flames coming from the second story of a three-unit apartment complex as well as a power pole down behind the building. Idaho Falls Power and Intermountain Gas were requested to temporarily shut off utilities in the area.
The adult female who was in the upstairs apartment was able to escape from the second story window and on to the roof. The reporting party told the ECO that people were trying to find a way for the woman to jump off of the roof. She was eventually able to get down from the roof uninjured.
Firefighters reported that the primary search of the structure was all clear, while the crew from the ladder truck went to the roof and the engine 2 crew accessed the attic with a hose line. There was heavy fire at the back of the structure, from the deck to the roof.
While firefighters were fighting the fire on the roof, the flames under the deck reignited causing them to evacuate the structure and reposition to attack the fire from a different side. They reported having most of the fire knocked down by 5:44 p.m.
There were a total of five adults who lived in the apartment building, four of them were home at the time of the fire. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.
Chaplains from the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy of Idaho were dispatched to provide assistance to the five displaced individuals. Damages are estimated at $600,000 for the structure which is now unlivable due to extensive fire, smoke and water damage.
Just as the Melbourne Drive fire was getting extinguished, the ECOs received a call at 6:11 p.m. from an individual who initially reported that a small outbuilding was on fire at the 600 block of N Lakewood Avenue, just north of the 1st Street and Lincoln Road intersection. The reporting party told the ECO that the fire was in a neighbor’s house, at which time the ECO upgraded the call to a full structure fire, sending additional units that direction.
The firefighters from engine 5 and the ladder truck, as well as a deputy fire chief who were on the Melbourne Drive apartment fire, quickly cleared that fire and rerouted to the Lakewood Avenue mobile home fire. An ambulance and a couple of brush trucks also responded from the Idaho Falls Fire Department.
It was reported that there were a couple of individuals attempting to put out the Lakewood Avenue fire with a hose. At 6:19 p.m. the reporting party stated that the fire was completely out. Firefighters continued to the home were they remained on scene to ensure that the flames were completely extinguished. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. The estimated damages are unknown at this time.
There is no evidence to believe that these two fires are related. The causes are under investigation by IFFDs Fire Prevention and Investigation Division. No other information is available at this time.
Media Contact: Kerry Hammon, Public Information Officer, (208) 612-8122, [email protected]