Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fire Destroys Downtown Hailey House

Fire crews continue work Monday morning to extinguish a structure fire that destroyed a two-story house overnight at 209 First Ave. in Hailey, near the downtown core. Parts of the burning home continued to smolder for hours after firefighters started battling the blaze. “One of our firefighters lived in the building. She lost everything,” said Hailey Fire Chief Craig Aberbach. Two firefighters went to the hospital with fatigue or smoke inhalation. The Hailey Fire Department responded to the call at about 1 a.m. Monday. “We believe it was caused from the heating system in the house,” Aberbach said. All five fire departments in the Wood River Valley, with a total of about 50 firefighters, responded to the fire. Six to eight firefighters were inside the house trying to fight the fire until an order came to evacuate the building, Aberbach said. “We went to defensive [mode] and were then able to use much bigger hoses on the fire,” he said. “The roof collapsed in several places, creating spaces for the fire to continue. We had to bring in heavy equipment to put it out. It is an old house. It had been remodeled many times and was compartmentalized. It was a difficult fire to fight.” Aberbach said the Hailey Firefighters Association’s Burnout Fund is supporting the displaced firefighter, and two other former residents of the building. Anyone who would like to make a donation to the Burnout Fund can call the Hailey Fire Department at 788-3147.
Express photo by Willy Cook

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