Photo by David Rauzi
As of Tuesday, November 28, 2017
An overloaded extension cord power strip caused a fire last week that destroyed a mobile home east of Stites.
No injuries were reported in last Wednesday’s Nov. 22 incident at 132 Skyline Loop. Owner Jeanette Hastlhoff was not insured; the American Red Cross and local church relief chain is currently assisting the family.
The fire was reported at 8:07 p.m. by neighbors who initially heard a popping noise coming from the residence that was obscured by trees, according to the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO). Ridge Runner Volunteer Fire Department (RRVFD) was dispatched, with Kooskia Volunteer Fire Department providing mutual aid. A total five apparatus and nine personnel responded.
“It was a big bucket of flames,” said Fire Chief Blaine Feinman, RRVFD, with the 1979 Marlette mobile home already engulfed when the first responder — an ICSO deputy — arrived, followed by firefighters. The effort was containment, “surround and drown,” he said, as the structure was too far gone to save, and the need then was to prevent the fire’s spread. Feinman added the home’s older construction made it more prone for the fire to spread as it didn’t have the built-in safety features as the newer ones do.
“There was nothing anybody could do by the time it was caught,” he said.
Along with the home and its contents, an adjacent loaded storage shed, along with two vehicles containing personal belongings, were lost in the fire. Hastlhoff’s three cats were found the next morning all safe.
Crews were on scene until 5:30 a.m., with Feinman returning at 10:30 a.m. to conduct a fire investigation.