GOODING — A Gooding firefighter was taken to the hospital after a ceiling fell on him during a Wednesday morning house fire.
The Gooding Fire District was called out to a fire at 1832 Elmwood Road about 6:10 a.m. after a fire lieutenant’s wife spotted smoke coming from the home, Fire Chief Brandon Covey said.
Lt. Steven Bishop ran over to the home and knocked on the door, waking up the residents. Everyone was able to get out of the home safely, but the structure is a total loss.
“By the time we showed up, we had flames through the roof,” Covey said.
The firefighter who was injured has been released from the hospital, but will be out of work due to a back injury, he said.
The homeowner is a retired firefighter with the Gooding Fire District. The residence had had a chimney fire a week ago, but firefighters expected the creosote build-up would have all burned off after that.
The exact cause of the fire is unknown, though it started in the chimney system of the fireplace. Covey said he doesn’t know if the chimney failed or if insulation blew up against it.
The Gooding Fire District received help from departments in Wendell, Hagerman, Bliss and Shoshone. With about eight engines and two dozen firefighters, it took crews about four hours to put out the blaze. The wasn’t a hydrant within a half-mile of the house, Covey said, so fire departments had to haul water to the area.
“We actually walked through the house to get to the back porch,” he said. “We were able to get a lot of their belongings.”
But with a ceiling that had double layers of plasterboard, it was difficult for fire crews to get through to the attic after the roof caved in. The firefighter was injured while trying to pull the ceiling down, Covey said.
“He’ll be out of work for a while,” he said.
The firefighter’s wages will be covered by worker’s compensation. Gooding Fire District has two full-time employees; everyone else is paid on call, Covey said.
The homeowners denied assistance from the American Red Cross, but the Gooding Fire District has offered them assistance from the Fireman’s Burnout Fund. At this point, no crowdfunding or fundraising efforts are planned, and the homeowner had insurance, Covey said.
The Gooding Fire District is reminding people to take precautionary measures if they have a wood stove. People should clean their chimneys and burn good, clean fuel, Covey said.
The district is not releasing the name of the firefighter or the homeowner at this time.