Man escapes burning building on West Ustick Road

Credit: Zach Stotland / KTVB

Man escapes burning building on West Ustick Road

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by KTVB.COM

KTVB.COM

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 13 at 8:00 AM

BOISE -- A man living in the basement apartment of a commercial building on the 7900 block of West Ustick Road is safe after fire broke out inside his closet Wednesday night.

However, firefighters initially thought the flames may have turned deadly when responding to the fire.

Battalion Chief Steve Rasulo said Boise fire crews went into "rescue mode" when they arrived at the burning building around 10 p.m.

"There was some confusion. We received a report that someone was still in the building," Rasulo told KTVB.

In fact, Rasulo says the single occupant of the basement apartment was able to escape the fire, and was actually the person who called 911 to report the flames. He says fire crews were able to scale back their efforts after learning the man was safe.

"Fortunately, we were able to confirm that all the occupants were out," Rasulo said.

Investigators believe the fire started in the basement closet, but aren't sure how it started. Rasulo says a small heater may have been responsible.

The building is home to three small businesses, including a market, hair salon, and eye glasses frame shop.

Firefighters say lawn care equipment for the building, including lawnmowers with gasoline, complicated firefighting efforts.

It's not clear how much damage the building sustained. However, firefighters report heavy smoke and fire when they arrived.

Boise Police and Fire Department spokesperson Lynn Hightower said the apartment and market suffered extensive fire damage, but the hair salon and eye glasses frame shop suffered less.

Hightower said the man whose apartment was damaged in the fire was being assisted by the Boise Fire Union burnout fund.

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