ADA COUNTY -- A local family was displaced in an early morning fire that completely gutted their two-story home.
The fire was reported at 3:18 a.m. in the 8200 block of Highway 44, a rural area about halfway between Star and Middleton.
Star Fire Chief Greg Timinsky said investigators determined the fire started when the wind carried sparks from the family's fire pit out onto the deck. Flames quickly reached the attic of the house, he said, and began to spread.
The home's three occupants, who were inside sleeping when the blaze began, were fortunate to get out. Because the flames were still burning on the outside of the house at that point, Timinsky said, the interior did not fill up with smoke, and the smoke detectors did not go off.
Luckily, a couple driving by spotted the flames. As the wife called 911, Timinsky said, her husband ran to the house, banging on the door until the occupants woke up.
It was not until the resident got out of bed and opened the door that the smoke alarm finally went off, the fire chief said. The homeowners and their teenage son were able to escape, but the flames quickly spread to engulf the entire house.
The home is a total loss. The house's roof collapsed as the fire burned, and the structure was was left charred inside and out.
"They pretty much lost everything in the fire, but they still have their lives," Timinsky said.
The fire chief said crews struggled to get a handle on the fire because of the lack of a water supply. The area does not have hydrants firefighters could hook their hoses up to.
Instead, crews trucked in water in water tenders, with help from multiple other departments, including Middleton Fire, Caldwell Fire and Eagle Fire.
Highway 44 was shut down for some time as firefighters worked, but has since been reopened.
The family is being assisted by the Red Cross and the Burnout Fund.
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