Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fire consumes 100-year-old house

Carey firefighters raise ‘water curtain’ to save nearby equipment


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

A 100-year-old, two-story house burned to the ground in a rural area of Carey on Friday. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

The house was located at 68 Lake View Drive in northeastern Carey. No one was living in the dwelling at the time, Carey Fire Chief Richard Kimball said.

"I was the first on the scene and it was totally engulfed in flames," said Kimball, who sped to town from Picabo, about 12 miles away, when the emergency call was paged out at 1:42 p.m.

Kimball said he arrived at the fire about 10 minutes after the call went out, passing firefighters at the Carey Fire Station who were getting into trucks.

The Carey Fire Department responded with a total of nine personnel and five engines, backed up by four personnel from Wood River Fire & Rescue, which supplied a fire truck and two water tenders.

"We had firefighters responding from work in Ketchum," Kimball said. "They picked up trucks in Gannett along the way."

Kimball said firefighters sprayed a "water curtain" between the burning house and excavation equipment parked by the owner behind it, saving a valuable 18-wheeler, a tractor and an outbuilding from being damaged by the fire.

The Carey Fire Department is not staffed, meaning Carey firefighters are "paid on-call" and report from around town when a blaze is reported.

"I'm a part-time fire chief," Kimball said. "If you had four guys sitting in the fire station in Carey we would have had a five-minute response, but I don't think it would have changed the outcome in this case. There were 12 mph winds with gusts to 30. When the windows blew out, it burned like a chimney."




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