A Carey man suffered severe burns in an early-morning structure fire Saturday at a former restaurant and bar that he owned and had converted to a residence, according to Carey Fire & Rescue Chief Richard Kimball.
Nine Carey firefighters worked for over eight hours to control the fire with defensive support from Wood River Fire & Rescue and Bellevue Fire Department crews, Kimball told the Express. The south county agencies were originally dispatched to 20546 N. Main Street—the building that formerly housed the Loading Chute restaurant and bar—at 12:27 a.m., he said.
The sole occupant of the building “got himself out and was looking around for his dogs” when crews arrived, Kimball said.
The man had suffered severe burns and was transported by ambulance to St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, then transferred to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center burn unit in Idaho Falls, Kimball said, adding that “the dogs are OK.”
The structure was a total loss, though crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading to adjacent homes and the RV park across the road.
Carey Fire & Rescue responded to the incident with a structural firefighting truck, water tender, two ambulances and a command rig, Kimball said, while Wood River Fire & Rescue and Bellevue Fire crews responded with one engine each. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Idaho State Fire Marshal’s Office, Kimball said.
A GoFundMe page created by Nampa resident Ronnie Blong identified the homeowner and burn victim as Gary Baird.
Baird “will make it from what I told,” wrote Blong, who identified himself the son of as Baird's wife, Barbara.
“They [Baird and his wife] did not have insurance on the home and now have nothing. They are retired and do not work anymore. This being said, anything would help them at this point,” Blong stated. “I want to thank anyone in advance that would be able to help.”
The fundraising campaign had raised about $1,500 as of Monday afternoon.