Fire destroys St. Maries home Saturday

A fire destroyed a rental home on Kootenai Ave. in St. Maries June 15. While there were no injuries reported, the structure was almost entirely destroyed, and a vehicle parked nearby was also severely damaged. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze before it spread to other structures.

A rental home in St. Maries was completely destroyed after it caught fire June 15.

Firefighters from three districts responded to control the blaze, and saved multiple surrounding structures. However, they were unable to save the residence itself.

According to Josh Masterson, the district’s office manager, the fire district was apprised of the fire at approximately 8:15 p.m. on Kootenai Ave. in St. Maries. On arrival, local fire crews found that the structure fire had almost completely engulfed the building, and was beginning to threaten other structures in the area.

“On arrival, the fire had already consumed a vehicle and a tree located next to the home,” he said. “Adjacent homes and structures were threatened; a nearby car port sustained heat damage from the flames.”

It took 20 firefighters – including 11 from St. Maries, five from the Fernwood Fire District and four from the Plummer-Gateway Fire District – a full 20 minutes to bring the fire under control. Personnel remained at the site for a further three hours to ensure no secondary blaze started from the remains.

“I’d like to send a big thank-you to all the fire guys and our neighbors in other districts who responded,” Mr. Masterson said. “It’s a real blessing to have that kind of neighbor that you can rely on to help out.”

There were no injuries reported in the fire; however, two dogs believed to be in the area are still reported missing. The house, a rental property, was a complete loss. While the owner of the property had renter’s insurance, the tenant did not.

Mr. Masterson said the cause of the fire is unknown, and is under investigation by St. Maries firefighters and state fire marshals.

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