Fire destroys Naples family's home

NAPLES — At 10:04 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 7, South Boundary Fire received a call regarding a house fire with the possibility of people in the building.

They arrived on scene by 10:18 a.m. to find the home of Roger and Vicki Kramer devastated by flames.

“We know the house and the people — Roger and Vicki Kramer.

Family who live up the road from them were very upset believing that they were inside the house. They had a truck and a car that were parked at the home,” fire chief Tony Rohrwasser said.

“Unfortunately, by that time, even if they were home, there wouldn’t have been anything we could do.”

Boundary County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Rich Stephens told Rohrwasser they discovered the homeowners were in Sandpoint at the time, relieving worried family and neighbors.

A cat was saved from the fire, but one or more other pets were lost in the flames, Rohrwasser said.

“We got on scene, it looked like the rear of the building was fully involved,” he said.

Flames were coming out the windows and through the roof at that time. There were three or four large trees, probably 70 foot trees, that were torching and burning up and it was starting to creep through the trees,” Rohrwasser said.

South Boundary Fire worked in collaboration with Paradise Valley, Department of Lands and Boundary Ambulance to put the fire out and assist.

Idaho Department of Lands kept fire from spreading to the trees by digging a line along the back of the property isolating the possibility of the fire spreading.

“When we get into the summer like this, a structure fire can turn into a wildland fire and a wildland fire can turn into a structure fire so we work together quite closely,” Rohrwasser said.

“There was no saving the building, so for investigation’s sake, we stayed outside of the building and forced water into the building until we finally cooled it down. The biggest thing for us that day was just watching everybody with the extreme heat,” Rohwasser said.

“We were continually rotating people out so they didn’t get over heated or collapse or anything like that,” he said.

The investigation from the state was inconclusive as to the fire’s caue because of too many possible factors.

“The investigation from the insurance company, what I heard finally, was that it was an electrical problem that caused it, it was an accident, it wasn’t anything intentional,” he said.

“Kudos to the volunteers, a lot of people took time off work in extreme heat to help,” Rohrwasser said.

• Donations and assistance will be accepted through various outlets. There is an account for the Kramers at Wells Fargo.

Monetary donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 148, Naples Idaho 83847 and larger items and care packages can be dropped off at South Boundary Naples Station at 20 Stagecoach Road in Naples.

Call 290-2613 before coming to ensure someone will be there to receive packages.

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