Looking back: Infant saved from burning building, man slingshots matches to teens stranded in Snake River and homemade bomb goes off - East Idaho News
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Looking back: Infant saved from burning building, man slingshots matches to teens stranded in Snake River and homemade bomb goes off

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IDAHO FALLS — EastIdahoNews.com is looking back at what life was like during the week of Nov. 13 to Nov. 19 in east Idaho history.


BLACKFOOT — A baby was rescued from a burning building by neighbors, the Blackfoot Idaho Republican reported on Nov. 14, 1913.

The fire broke out in a small building at the back of an electric light plant and “consumed it in a very short time.” The building was used as a residence by the Henry Wagoner family on one side and by Pelky Bros., as a carpenter shop on the other side.

“Mrs. Wagoner had gone up town and left a child in the house,” the paper explained. “Some of the neighbors discovered the fire and saved the child but most of the household goods were lost.”

Pelky Bros. lost all their tools and items in the shop, a total value of $965. The article said the items could have been saved but “those who arrived in time to do so, hesitated about breaking into the room thinking the fire department would arrive and put out the fire.” However, the blaze quickly spread making it impossible to get in.

The fire department showed up but once on scene, they realized their hose was tangled and they had to untangle it before they could move forward.

“Enough people gathered in a few minutes to have floated the building if each one had brought a bucket of water, but it is a habit of the local inhabitants to appear for observation only when there is a fire alarm,” the article reads. “The firemen are paid nothing for their services and there is little encouragement for them to meet and drill so that efficiency may be assured.”


BURLEY — Police were searching for the person responsible for kidnapping and killing a seven-year-old girl in Burley, the Idaho State Journal reported on Nov. 17, 1949.

Glenda Joyce Brisbois was kidnapped while playing near her home Wednesday around 5:30 p.m. Brisbois’ body was found Thursday by members of a search party around 11:15 a.m. in a canal five miles south of Burley.

Sheriff Saul Clark said Wayne Whicker, Brisbois’ six-year-old playmate, said the two of them were walking near their school when a car with a man inside approached Brisbois. Clark said the boy told him the man who stopped to talk with Brisbois had also spoken to two other little girls along the street before approaching Brisbois, who then got into his car.

“Her disappearance touched off an intensive air and ground search,” the Journal stated. “Planes swept over all main and secondary highways as far north as Arco and south to the Utah and Nevada lines searching for anything suspicious.”

The girl’s father, a truck-driver, who was driving to Oregon when he found out his daughter had been kidnapped, made his way back to Idaho and stopped in Boise, en route to Burley. He sat for about an hour with a state patrolman maintaining a roadblock on Highway 30 in Ada County. All cars coming into Pocatello on Highway 30 north were being stopped and investigated.

The Cassia County Sheriff’s office said Thursday afternoon a plane was “trailing” a car suspected in the kidnapping.


FORT HALL — A man used a slingshot to send matches across the Snake River to two teenage boys stuck on an island, the Idaho State Journal reported on Nov. 14, 1951.

Allen Tendore, 16, and Frank Tendore, 18, ended up in the water after their horse stepped into a deep hole as they were crossing a part in the river. They swam 30 yards to an island in the middle of the river while the horse made it safely back to shore.

“In near-freezing temperatures and 30-mile winds, the youths waited on the island from 3 to 9 p.m. before their rescue,” the Journal wrote.

It continued, “While investigator T.A. Wilson was radioing to the sheriff’s office for a boat, an unidentified bystander fashioned a slingshot from a nearby tree and weighted down matches with rocks. The contraption spanned 50 yards of water to reach the chilled boys. They built a fire.”

The paper called the unidentified man a “modern David” who “stole a page from the Bible.”

A motorboat eventually arrived that night to bring the boys back on land.


POCATELLO — Pocatello Police recovered the remains of a homemade bomb that exploded in the men’s restroom near Highland High School, the Idaho State Journal reported on Nov. 17, 1977.

The bomb went off in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seminary building. The one-story building of classrooms and offices received an estimated $200 worth of damages. The bomb shattered a urinal and blackened walls and mirrors with smoke.

“Two witnesses said they remember seeing two youths, believed to be about 18 years old, walking back and forth in front of the building several times and looking through the glass doors minutes before the explosion,” the Journal explained.

No injuries were reported.