06-18-09 Cause - Fairview Ave. Warehouse Fire
Investigators believe Warehouse Fire was Human Caused, but officially "Undetermined."
Boise, June 18, 2009 - Boise Police and Fire investigators say the cause of the fire that destroyed an abandoned warehouse at 2501 W. Fairview early yesterday will officially be listed as "undetermined".
However, investigators do believe the fire was human caused. What's unknown is if it was intentional or accidental, and exactly how it started.
Fire investigators say electricity to the abandoned building had been cut off weeks ago as the building owner, St. Luke's Regional Medical Center prepared the site for demolition. Lightning has also been ruled out as a cause.
Investigators have spoken with contractors working for the building owner who were in the building as recently as Tuesday afternoon, June 16th. They say they ran into a group of transients who appeared to be entering and staying on the second floor of the building, closest to Fairview Ave. As representatives of the owner, the contractors told the transients to leave the property. Street level entrances to the building were secured. It's believed transients entered the warehouse by climbing up to the second floor and entered through a makeshift opening.
Fire investigators say the fire started on the second floor of the building, in the same area the transients were seen the day before. Because that portion of the building was either completely destroyed by fire, or the remains were unstable and unsafe, exactly how the fire was started remains unknown. However, factors other than human activity have been ruled out.
Boise firefighters were called to the warehouse at 1:36 a.m. Wednesday morning. They found flames coming through the roof and immediately took a defensive stance to keep the flames from spreading. When it was safe, a building search was done. Ground level entrances to the building were still secure. No one was found inside.