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Early morning fire causes $150,000 in damage to Ashton home


ASHTON – An Ashton home is a total loss after catching fire early Tuesday morning.

Fremont County Fire Chief Andrew Rogers tells the fire started around 3 a.m. at 356 Highland Street.

A paramedic with North Fremont Fire Protection initially saw the fire. Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries says she was responding to another call and noticed smoke as she was traveling down the highway.

Deputies arrived a short time later and discovered everyone inside was asleep.

Rogers says everyone was safely evacuated.

“No one was injured but the mom had asthma and (the combination of smoke in the air from fires in neighboring states) and the smoke in the house (gave her) an asthma attack. She was taken to the hospital for difficulty breathing,” says Rogers.

The attic was fully engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived.

Firefighters battled the blaze for the next three hours, but the home was ultimately destroyed. Rogers estimates the total cost in damage is at least $150,000.

They later determined the fire was caused by a supply line to the electric meter shorting out.

Rogers is reminding people not to plug in more devices than what is recommended.

“Try not to use a bunch of power strips to plug more stuff in if your house isn’t rated for it. This fire is something that could’ve easily happened to anyone. We just want to remind people to be extra careful and mindful with how dry it is and how quickly it can happen,” he says.

The Rexburg Standard Journal reports the home belonged to the Leonel Vega family. A GoFundMe set up on the family’s behalf has raised more than $900 of its $3,000 goal, as of Tuesday afternoon.

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.

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