Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Body found in burned house at Boise wildfire

Authorities say a badly burned body was discovered by firefighters inside one of the homes damaged or destroyed by a wildfire that swept through a neighborhood on the city's southeast side.

Boise Police Spokeswoman Lynn Hightower says fire crews found the body early Tuesday while combing through one of the 9 homes destroyed by the blaze. Hightower said it's too soon to tell whether the body is that of a woman from the middle-class neighborhood reported missing by relatives as the blaze spread from a vacant field of sage brush up the ridge to the line of homes.

No other residents were injured in the fires, but 17 police officers and at least one firefighter were treated for various injuries at local hospitals.

Hightower says the fire is under control and that residents from the more than 50 homes evacuated Monday night are now being allowed to return.

Strong winds push a wildfire as it burns a house in Boise.

The above is from the Seattle Times

Here is more about the fire, from the Idaho Press, before the body was found in the burned house.
A wildfire fanned by 50 mph winds burned a swath through a Southeast Boise neighborhood Monday evening, destroying 10 homes and damaging nine others.

Authorities evacuated more than four dozen homes in Boise’s Columbia Village area and residents were not expected to be allowed to return overnight. Seven Boise police officers were hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation. Officials said a firefighter also suffered a hand laceration. No other injuries were reported late Monday.

Boise police and fire investigators have reported a woman missing from one of the homes destroyed by fire Monday evening on Immigrant Pass Court. No further information on the missing woman was available.

Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan said the blaze started as a brush fire on Amity Road during a red flag warning, indicating high winds and high heat make conditions ripe for wildfires.

Flames spread up a ridge and initially ignited six homes before jumping a street to burn several more, Doan said. The blaze spread from roof to roof, ignited trees and shrubbery and burned vehicles parked near the homes.

Fire officials issued a general alarm, calling in all Boise fire personnel. Meridian, Kuna, North Ada County and other area firefighters assisted. As of about 11:15 p.m., 41 fire crews were on the scene. Meridian Police, Ada County Sheriff’s deputies and Idaho State Police assisted Boise Police by taking calls throughout the city.

“In 20 years this is the biggest subdivision fire we’ve had,” Doan said. “The winds were just incredible. The firefighters did an amazing job of putting themselves and their hoses between the houses.”

Dispatchers said the fire was reported at 7 p.m.

“We still have an active fire, but we feel we have it contained,” Doan said late Monday night. “We’re trying to get some hot spots out now. This will take all night and into tomorrow.”

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