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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of June 18 - 24, 2003


Fund established for victims of last week’s Ketchum fire

Express Staff Writer

The Ketchum fire chief said Monday a team of specialists has determined that a June 8 fire that burned a residential and business structure in central Ketchum was caused by an electrical problem.

Chief Greg Schwab said the investigation into the fire at 271 Second Ave. North—the site of The Answering Service message and voice-mail business and The Tanning Service tanning salon—has focused on the area around a water heater in the 1.5-story building.

Schwab said the exact cause has still not been agreed upon. Representatives of companies that manufactured or installed the water heater and its various components located in the same general area will be invited to conduct a joint investigation of the site next week.

Assistant Fire Chief Mike Elle said the joint investigation of the building will likely occur Tuesday, June 24.

The building is owned by Lyn Stallard, who has resided in one of the three apartments in the building, but was out of town during the incident.

The blaze was reported at 7:42 p.m. Sunday, June 8, via a 911 call. Tenant Todd Matney last week said he called 911 immediately after discovering the fire.

Firefighting teams from Ketchum and Sun Valley were dispatched immediately and were later given support from Wood River Fire & Rescue and the Hailey Fire Department.

Firefighters had the blaze under control in approximately 30 minutes, but the heat and flames destroyed much of the building and its interior equipment, belongings and furnishings.

No serious injuries occurred as a result of the fire.

Schwab on Monday said the Ketchum-Sun Valley Firefighters Association—through its Displaced Persons Fund—has dispensed funds to fire victims who lost their residence and belongings. Through the fund, money is issued to help pay for temporary housing and emergency purchases, he said.

A separate fund to assist the fire victims—called The Answering Service Fund—has been established at First Bank of Idaho, which has branches in Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue. A sign in front of the gutted structure on Second Avenue encourages concerned local residents to contribute to the fund.

In addition, SkyWest Airlines, Matney’s employer, last week established a special fund for Matney at Wells Fargo Bank.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.