Family living in Bolivia loses home to Idaho wildfire

Credit: Troy Colson/KTVB

Family living in Bolivia loses home to Idaho wildfire

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by Natalie Podgorski

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 7:43 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 4:37 PM

BOISE COUNTY -- Eighty families are still waiting to go home as the Karney Fire continues to burn in Boise County.

Flames have destroyed one home already. As the fire spreads, homeowners are still waiting and hoping that the fire doesn't reach them.

One family and renters living in their house weren't so lucky. They are trying to wrap their minds around the fact that their house is gone.

"It just burned straight to the ground and there's nothing for them to come home to," said Rosmarie DeBoer, the mother of the homeowner.

The Alseth family owns the home. For the past five years they have been living in Bolivia doing missionary work.

"They had hoped and planned to be here by December to be with family for Christmas," said DeBoer.

DeBoer says now her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren won't have a home to come back to.

"They're all very heartbroken over losing their home," she said.

DeBoer says there were renters living in the home. They got out safely but almost everything they owned was destroyed by the Karney Fire.

The Boise County Sheriff's Office has arrested 18-year-old Nathaniel Bartholomew and charged him with arson. Deputies say Bartholomew admitted to setting the fire to get attention from his father.

DeBoer says her family is upset about what happened and hopes Bartholomew will be held responsible. But right now they just want to move on.

"I know they have extremely big hearts and would like to forgive him and let the families know they don't hold the families responsible," said DeBoer.

Because Ricky and Kathy Alseth are thousands of miles away in Bolivia it is not clear what they will do with their home. They are still trying to figure out when they will come home.

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