MELBA, Idaho — Taking a soak in Givens Hot Springs has been a favorite pastime for many people around Idaho since the early 1880s.
It is located in Melba, Idaho. More than 140 years later, the hot springs is in some hot water.
Seven people were taken to the hospital after part of the roof collapsed into the pool on Saturday afternoon. Many others were injured as well.
Nadine and her husband, Steve, own the hot springs. She said they never expected anything like this to happen when they bought it 32 years ago.
“Just to see the parking lot full … they had moved all the people outside, and most of them were wrapped in towels,” Nadine said.
Six ambulances responded, Steve said. The couple was on their way into town to get supplies to make some repairs to the roof when they got the call about the incident.
He said keeping up with maintenance is a never-ending job, especially with the humidity.
The roof is mainly wood, with rusted metal connectors and a plastic covering. Steve said he believes a combination of wind and rotten wood caused the collapse.
“It was already a little weakened because of the rotting wood,” he said, “and the wind just finished it.”
KTVB looked into the wind data around the area at the time of the collapse and found the strongest wind gusts were under 30 mph.
The last time the collapsed roof was majorly updated was in 2018. But Nadine said they have done minor updates since.
Steve said an architect approved the roof’s design more than 15 years ago after the previous roof blew off. Nobody got hurt that time.
“We had about a 90-mph burst [that] just lifted a third of the roof off and laid it out in the park,” he said.
The Givens and their team have spent the last few days cleaning up the pool and removing debris. Nadine said they hope to open back up either next week or the week after that – whenever they remove the rest of the roof.
Their plan is to have an open-air hot springs until they can build a new roof. She said they do not have a timeline for when a new roof will be built and is not sure what materials they will use.
When asked about any potential lawsuits filed against them, the Givens said it is all part of the business.
“If you’re in business, you’re always going to get sued,” Steve said. “But that’s what insurance is for.”
Nadine said they are more concerned about the people hurt.
KTVB reached out to Owyhee County’s building department for information about building code on Monday afternoon but did not receive a reply.
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