Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sauna leads to fire in Sun Valley

Faulty heating unit sparks “hostile” fire


By JON DUVAL
Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Fire Department managed to knock down a fire on Sunday morning before it could threaten the nearby Wildflower condominiums.

Firefighters received a call at 6:38 a.m. from the Sun Valley Police Department after officers traced smoke to a small building next to the Sun Valley Olympic Pool, located within the condominium complex.

Sun Valley Fire Chief Jeff Carnes said that when the firefighters arrived, "they were met by a hostile fire in the men's changing room."

According to Carnes, the fire was caused by a faulty heating unit in the sauna.

Because of the metal roof on the building, which Carnes estimated to be 50 feet by 120 feet, the flames weren't visible and much of the smoke was trapped until firefighters pulled back a portion of the roof.

Carnes said the flames gutted approximately 30 percent of the building and that the rest suffered smoke damage.

The soldering on a copper pipe also melted, causing water to pour on the flames, helping to contain the fire.

The firefighters knocked the fire down by 7:15 a.m., and kept it from spreading to the nearest condominiums, which are approximately 20 feet from the building, The departments had their men and equipment off the scene by 2 p.m.

Carnes said that about 25 firefighters, from both Sun Valley and Ketchum, and three engines were on scene to extinguish the blaze.




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