At 4:24 p.m. this evening the Idaho Falls Fire Department was initially dispatched to a vehicle fire at 75th West and 113th North in Bonneville County. The reporting party told the Idaho Falls/Bonneville County Emergency Communications Officer (ECO) that there were flames coming out of the hood of a vehicle.
The caller then reported that the vehicle was located less than four feet from a house and that someone was trying to put it out with a hose. The ECO quickly upgraded the call to a structure fire, triggering more emergency personnel to respond. The caller was unaware of how much fuel was in the vehicle or if there was anybody else inside the home. The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist with traffic control and to shut down roads.
IFFD’s engine 5 and battalion chief were first on scene and reported a single family, single story home with a basement. The vehicle that was on fire was located on the side of the home, and the house was fully engulfed in flames with the roof coming off.
Due to the extent of the fire and to keep firefighters safe, the battalion chief directed personnel to fight the fire defensively. He then immediately requested the ECO to send additional fire apparatus and a fire investigator, as well as assistance from the Ucon Fire Department who responded with a ladder truck and a water tender.
Rocky Mountain Power was requested emergently to shut off power as there were live power lines down around the structure.
Just as the vehicle fire was being extinguished, the embers from the fire jumped to some brush and a large haystack. Assistance was then requested from the Central Fire District who sent an engine, three brush trucks, two water tenders, and three chief officers. Bonneville County Fire Protection District-Ammon Division responded with two water tenders. The IFFD had a total of 17 personnel on scene which included the battalion chief, a ladder truck, three engines, two water tenders, and an ambulance.
There were no injuries to civilians. One firefighter from the IFFD was transported by ambulance to the hospital with minor injuries where he was treated and released. There were no other injuries to first responders.
Chaplains from the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy of Idaho were dispatched to assist the homeowner as needed.
The fire started from the vehicle, but the cause of the fire is unknown at this time and is under investigation by IFFD’s Fire Prevention Division. Total damages for the house and contents, vehicle, and approximately 1,200 lbs of hay is estimated at approximately $300,000.
Media Contact: Kerry Hammon, IFFD Public Information Officer, (208) 612-8122, [email protected]