Jerome does an about-face, won't bill building owner for fire

Credit: Troy Colson/KTVB

Jerome does an about-face, won't bill building owner for fire

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by KTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 6:39 PM

Jerome Fire

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JEROME – Officials in the city of Jerome say it was all a mistake after the fire department sent a nearly $100,000 bill to the owner of a downtown apartment building destroyed in a massive fire last month.

The Jerome Fire Department billed Sylvia Moore for 67 hours of firefighting costs after nearly two dozen buildings were damaged in the April 30th fire. That bill came to nearly $100,000.

Moore said she received a phone call today from the city's attorney who said she should not have been billed for the firefighting costs. Moore is still waiting to get a written confirmation.

The city sent KTVB this statement: "The invoice sent to Sylvia Moore was sent in error. No recovery costs will be sought against Ms. Moore for the fire occurring upon her property. The City of Jerome deeply regrets this error."

Investigators determined that a tenant left a hot glue gun on a plastic chair. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental.

On Wednesday, Fire Chief Jack Krill told KTVB that Moore’s insurance company should pay for fighting the largest fire in the city’s history.  He said this was an extraordinary fire and the city wanted to recover taxpayer money the best it could.

Moore showed KTVB a copy of the three-page bill that included paying firefighters, police, equipment cost and food during their response which last several days. She said it was unclear how a fire department paid with taxes can also bill for fighting a fire within an area it is assigned to protect.

The city had given Moore until June 21st to pay up, or face a 20 percent penalty.

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