Faulty wiring triggered a structure fire that destroyed a single-family home on the south end of Bellevue Monday morning, according to Fire Department Chief Greg Beaver.

Firefighters from Bellevue, Wood River, Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley all responded to 217 Chestnut St. just around 5 a.m. They found 60-foot flames torching the building, Beaver said. It took 20 minutes to knock down the blaze, keeping it from spreading to the northern neighbors.

There were no injuries, but the house is all but destroyed, Beaver said.

“It was a pretty devastating fire,” he said. “It’s a total loss—it’s all gone.”

The Idaho State Fire Marshal traced its source to electrical arcing from a radon fan in the garage. Arcing occurs when a current jumps a damaged or broken wire, releasing an unchecked flow of electricity, and extreme heat. (Think of a welder’s torch—they’ll commonly harness electric arcs to melt metal.) 

On Monday afternoon, a building inspector visited the site to determine the state of the structure. Beaver wasn’t optimistic.

“All of our departments responded well to get it under control,” he said. “There might be something to salvage, but just about everything I saw was burned.”

Email the writer: mdee@mtexpress.com

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