Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chimney fire devastates Ketchum home

Fire department estimates damage at $100,000


By EXPRESS STAFF

A fire early Tuesday morning caused about $100,000 in damage to this home at 101 Exhibition Boulevard in Ketchum. Most of the damage was in the two upper floors of the three-story home. Photo by David N. Seelig

A fire early Tuesday morning caused extensive damage to a three-story home in the Warm Springs area of Ketchum.

The home's occupants were not injured, but Ketchum Fire Chief Mike Elle reported that one firefighter suffered a serious knee injury when he stepped into a hole in the roof.

Some 30 firefighters fought the blaze at 101 Exhibition Boulevard after being notified of the fire shortly before 3 a.m. In addition to Ketchum firefighters, crews were summoned from the Sun Valley Fire Department and Wood River Fire and Rescue.

The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental. Elle said the homes' occupants awoke to the smell of smoke, evacuated and called 911.

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"It was basically an attic fire or concealed-space fire in the chimney chase and roof assembly on the second and third floors," Elle said. "There was a fireplace that had been lit that night. It appears to be combustible construction too close to a heating device."

Elle said the fire was contained at 3:38 a.m., but firefighters remained at the scene through part of the day.

Damage was estimated at $100,000.

"The structural integrity of part of two roofs is compromised," he said. "Even though the fire was confined to the second and third floors, there is smoke and water damage throughout."

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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