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System maintenance advised in wake of fires

Dec. 23 blaze destroys Kooskia trailer home



— Following several recent fires in the community, Kooskia Fire Chief Mark Anderson advises residents on preventative measures to avoid problems.

“This is the time of year when most of our fires are heating system related fires,” Anderson said.

Within the past three weeks, two residences reported chimney fires that started to move into the wall.

“With both, we were able to pull the Sheetrock and put them out,” he said, limiting damage to a four-by-10-foot hole in the wall between $2,000 and $3,000, and residents were able to continue living in those homes that night.

“People need to think about keeping their heating systems maintained,” he said.

Recommended agency tips include having furnaces annually inspected for wear or damage; and cleaning chimney and stovepipe creosote buildup from wood-burning stoves. Information is available from city or district fire departments on who offers inspections, and some jurisdictions have chimney brushes available for use.

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Kooskia’s last major fire for the year was reported Dec. 23 when a vacant trailer home was destroyed.

The incident was reported at 7:15 p.m., 257 Thenon Street, involving a single-wide trailer home, owned by Jarrod Carter. According to Idaho County Sheriff’s Dispatch, Carter reported an ember caught the structure on fire.

Anderson said Carter had been in the process of tearing the home down, and little if any value was lost in the fire.

“It was pretty much a total loss by the time it was reported,” he said, “so basically we contained the fire and prevented it from getting out.”

Two engines and nine personnel responded, along with the Kooskia Ambulance crew and ICSO Deputy Stan Denham. No injuries were reported. Crews cleared the scene at 9 p.m.

Cause is ruled undetermined due to no definite evidence being available, according to Anderson; however, it is believed it may have originated from a burn barrel on site.



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