AP NEWS

Pocatello firefighter falls through floor of burning home

September 30, 2018

POCATELLO — A city firefighter escaped injury when he fell through the floor of a burning Pocatello home on Saturday morning.

The responding fireman, whose name has not yet been released, entered the burning home on North Seventh Avenue to battle the fire and the floor collapsed under him, according to the Pocatello Fire Department. He miraculously was not injured and was rescued from the hole in the floor by another firefighter, the Fire Department reported.

Fire officials said the fireman did not realize when he entered the house that the floorboards had been weakened by the fire.

A neighboring resident reported the fire at the single story house in the 400 block of North Seventh near City Hall around 9:40 a.m. Saturday. The fire did not result in any injuries and fire officials said it was accidental in nature.

No one was home at the residence when the fire ignited, authorities said.

The Fire Department reported at 10:30 a.m. Saturday that the fire was under control and firefighters were in the process of extinguishing the few remaining hot spots.

Fire officials said the fire started in the home’s kitchen area and was caused by an electrical issue. The flames quickly spread to the home’s basement and attic.

Firefighters said the early 1900s home was extremely well built and this made it tougher to fight the fire. Cutting through the roof to access the flames burning in the attic, for example, was very difficult, firefighters said.

The Fire Department said that although the house suffered smoke and fire damage, the residence is salvageable.

The home’s owner Frank Rosa of Pocatello was at the scene watching firefighters battle the blaze. He said he rents the home to another man, who left for work on Saturday morning prior to the fire igniting.

Rosa said he has insurance to repair the damage to the home.

Fire officials said the fire damage has made the home uninhabitable until repairs can be made.

Rosa said he’s in the process of finding another place for his renter to reside until then.

Police shut down the 400 block of North Seventh while firefighters were battling the fire and the street was not reopened until around 4:45 p.m. Saturday when firefighters left the scene.

Firefighters were likely able to save the house and keep the flames from spreading to the rest of the neighborhood because their response time to the blaze after receiving the call was less than three minutes.

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