Estimated damage of Bonneville County structure fire at $250,000 - East Idaho News
Idaho Falls

Estimated damage of Bonneville County structure fire at $250,000

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The following is a news release from the city of Idaho Falls.

IDAHO FALLS — On June 7, 2016 at 1:43 p.m., the Idaho Falls Fire Department was dispatched to 2997 N. 15 E. in Idaho Falls for a report of a fire.

The initial dispatch included three engines and two ambulances, as well as a Battalion Chief. Due to no hydrant supplied at the location, additional resources, including two water tenders and an additional engine were requested. Three additional command officers were also present – one for safety and the other two to assist with logistics.

Crews began fighting the fire in the shop area that was fully involved in fire. Protecting exposures was the main priority. Firefighters were also located on the south side of the facility, while others were located on the north side.
All occupants had excited the building. One individual was treated for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion but denied transport to the hospital.

Approximately 20,000 gallons of water were hauled into the site and placed on the fire, and the goal of protecting exposures was accomplished with minimal damage. A primary search of exposed structures was conducted, and utilities were secured.

Building damage included a shop behind the retail building where cars were dismantled. The building and its contents are a total loss. The estimated damage is $250,000.

The cause of the fire was due to an employee removing a catalytic converter from a vehicle using a cutting torch. Crews also reported that flammable car fluids were believed to have saturated the flooring in the area where the employee was working.

The shop employees had multiple extinguishers present and attempted to extinguish the fire with at least four commercial size extinguishers. Their efforts to contain the blaze, though not successful, led to suppressing the fire enough to allow the fire department to accomplish their goal of saving the exposures. Fires, especially those with accelerants involved, grow very rapidly, so when attempting to extinguish a fire, plan for an escape route and call 911.