One Killed, Nine Homes Destroyed In Boise Wildfire

BOISE (AP) — One person has been found dead and nine homes have been destroyed by a fast moving wildfire in Southeast Boise.

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.

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.

Residents say flames spread quickly Monday evening through dry cheatgrass and sagebrush near the homes, several in the Columbia Village subdivision.

“The wind is so strong we’re literally just watching houses go up in flames,” said resident Susan Hallamore, 42. “Our house went up in flames.”

She said she, her husband and five children were away from the home when the fire broke out.

In her words, “First you’re happy you’re all safe, then you realize you don’t have any pictures any more.”

Fire officials say all available Boise firefighters and equipment were called to the smoke-covered scene. The Bureau of Land Management also sent four engines and about 20 firefighters to assist in fighting the fire.

In addition to the nine homes that were destroyed an additional 10 homes were damaged. Lynn Hightower said that 17 police officers and at least one firefighter were treated for various injuries at local hospitals.

Approximately 50 families were displaced from their homes because of the fire.