What others can learn from Meridian home destroyed by fire

Fire department official speaks about steps to take to be more fire wise around home

BOISE - After a grass fire grew big enough to burn a Meridian family's home to the ground, Meridian Fire Department Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal Joe Bongiorno shared tips to help keep this tragedy from happening to others.

Bongiorno said the fire on August 18 started by Interstate 84 near the home, was pushed up a hill by the wind and into the landscape surrounding the home.

MORE: Fire destroys Meridian home close to Interstate 84

The family's home had large arborvitae plants along the deck and the side of the house. Bongjorno says that although these plants are green, they are not plants you should grow close to your home.

Bongiorno says, "In the fire service they're known as gasoline plants because they, they burn like the dickens. So, they're very, very flammable."

Bongiorno added that homeowners should have no landscape touching their houses. He says that all flammable landscape touching homes should be cut down.

"You want to keep a defensible space at least, you know, three to four feet around your house, or maybe you just have just decorative rock or some flowers," said Bongiorno.

MORE: Homeowner speaks out after losing home to fire: 'That was our safe place'

If a fire does need to be put out, make sure your home is easy for emergency responders to get to. Your home and neighborhood should have legible and clearly marked street names and numbers. Driveways should be at least 12 feet wide and have a vertical clearance of 15 feet.

If you have questions about if your home is firewise, Bongiorno encourages you to call your local fire department. He says the Boise Fire Department and the Meridian Fire Department are happy to come walk your property with you and give you tips to make your home more fire wise.

For another good source of information about firewise homes, click here.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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