BONNERS FERRY — Two fires kept firefighters busy on Monday, Oct. 8. The first fire took place at a residence on Main Street, just south of Bonners Ferry in the Paradise Valley Fire District.
Paradise Valley Fire, South Boundary Fire, and North Bench Fire responded to the call, along with Boundary Ambulance, Bonners Ferry Police Department, and Boundary County Sheriff’s Office. North Bench Fire was first on scene and performed the initial knockdown and entry.
The homeowners were not home when the fire started, and came home to see the smoke and called 9-1-1.
“They were smart enough to close the doors,” said Paradise Valley Firefighter Mike Glazier. “That doesn’t allow the oxygen to get in.”
The scene was turned over to Paradise Valley Fire around 6:25 p.m. There were no injuries and the house suffered mostly smoke damage.
Paradise Valley is operating without a fire chief at this time, but they have four new recruits and are still looking for others to join, said Glazier. For now, they have been working hard and relying on mutual aid from North Bench and South Boundary Fire.
The second fire took place on Turner Hill Road around 8:20 p.m. and involved a wood pile and a log splitter that were on fire. North Bench Fire, with auto aid from South Boundary, were called to the scene. Due to a great showing from North Bench Firefighters, including a brush truck, water tender, two command vehicles, and an engine, South Boundary was canceled.
The log splitter was fully engulfed upon arrival, as well as the personal log pile that was approximately 15 feet by 40 feet, said North Bench Fire Chief Gus Jackson.
North Bench had the fire contained quickly and were able to keep it from spreading. It is suspected that a cow may have tipped over a burn barrel that started the blaze. There were no injuries to people or cattle.
“I am extremely proud of the fantastic job the team did,” said Jackson, who had responded with his firefighters to both fires. “They really busted hump.”
“It makes you realize how much time and effort these guys put forth,” Jackson continued. “These guys and girls spent a better part of five hours on both calls.”