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Idaho Youth Ranch begins cleaning up warehouse after last month’s fire

Crews began removing tons of damaged clothing and household items from the facility's outside yard.

BOISE, Idaho —

Idaho Youth Ranch took a step forward on Wednesday to recover after a fire at its main distribution center in Boise last month. 

Crews have begun removing tons of damaged clothing and household items from the facility’s outside yard. 

On July 18, a fire destroyed everything in the facility’s outside yard, and smoke damaged everything in the nearly 100 thousand square foot warehouse. All of the remaining items must be thrown away. 

RELATED: Idaho Youth Ranch focuses on the future after suffering massive fire

Jeff Myers Idaho Youth Ranch’s VP of marketing and communication said that the clean-up is an important milestone. 

"This is both an exciting and a sad moment because we see the donations that people have invested in the Idaho Youth Ranch being hauled away," Myers said. "But at the same time, it's the first necessary step in the recovery, and so in the coming weeks they'll get all of this out and be able to begin making repairs and in a few months hopefully be able to be back operating in the warehouse." 

Across town, workers are now sorting donated items at Idaho Youth Ranch’s new, temporary warehouse on State Street. Interfaith Sanctuary homeless shelter offered its future location for the youth ranch to use. The Idaho Youth Ranch is taking donations once again after they temporarily pausing after the fire. 

Myers said having the temporary facility is crucial to carrying out their mission. 

"In addition to the financial donations from our donors and the community, we rely on our stores to provide that leg of funding for our programs. Having this space helps get that leg of support for our programs much healthier,” Myers said. 

The nonprofit also provides counseling and other services to at-risk kids and young adults around the state. 

While fire investigators ruled out a few potential causes of the fire, including fireworks, battery failure, smoking ash, electrical problems, operating equipment and incendiary, they ultimately ruled the cause as undetermined. 

Boise Fire Department said that they could not pinpoint the cause because of the amount of water used to extinguish the fire and because they had to remove debris and items from the area where the fire started. 

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