Fire causes $2 million in damages
By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer
A 9,500-square-foot log home near the south end of Ketchum
sustained an estimated $2 million in damages from a fire Monday evening.
A tower truck lifts Ketchum and Sun
Valley firefighters to the roof of a south Ketchum home to attack flames
that erupted Monday evening. Express photo Willy Cook
The Ketchum Fire Department received an alarm on the blaze
at 5:22 p.m. after a neighbor spotted smoke coming from the unoccupied
house at 222 Gem St. owned by Ken and Kathleen Fait.
Ketchum assistant fire chief Greg Schwab said 30
firefighters responded from the Ketchum and Sun Valley departments. They
were accompanied by five engines, a tower truck, a rescue vehicle and two
Schwab said the first Ketchum firefighters on the scene
mounted an aggressive attack on flames burning in the homeís interior.
That initial attack, he said, had the interior flames out in about 20
minutes and "really saved the property."
Schwab said an investigation on Tuesday indicated the fire
had probably been started by either a faulty light or a lamp set too close
to a combustible wooden shelf.
He said that after they extinguished the interior flames,
firefighters set to work on spot fires and flames inside the cold roof.
"Itís a very complex roof design. They had to go
through a lot of hand and power tools to gain access."
Schwab said it took firefighters, using foam, about four
hours to extinguish the roof fire. He said a watch was posted throughout
the night but the fire did not re-ignite.
Schwab said about 20 percent of the estimated damage came
from flames and about 20 percent from heat. The rest, he said, was from
smoke damage, which affected about 80 percent of the structure. An
insurance company inspector was scheduled to look at the house today to
give a more accurate account of the damages.
The home has been on the market at a price of about $3.6
"We would encourage everyone to please check your
smoke detector," Schwab said.
He said batteries should be changed every six months and
detectors cleaned annually. He also recommended that anyone owning a house
that spends long periods unoccupied sign up with a monitored smoke
Schwab recommended that families practice evacuation