Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Officers Save Woman From Fire

Officers Save Woman From Fire

Boise, January 12, 2005 – Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson is praising officers who saved a woman after she apparently set herself and her apartment on fire.

It began last night at approx. 10:00 p.m. Officers were called to the apartments on the 1000 block of South Capital for a disturbance. When officers arrived, a witness told them a woman had come to their apartment, appeared extremely intoxicated, and had yelled at them and broken out a window. Witnesses identified her woman as being a neighbor.

Officers went to her apartment at 1020 Lusk to speak with the woman. They knocked on the door and identified themselves as being with Boise Police. A woman’s voice answered and indicated she would “be right there”. Officers waited a short time, then knocked again. They then heard a woman scream followed by the sound of a smoke detector and smelled smoke.

Officer Steve Kincheloe (valley patrol) kicked in the door. As it opened, he and Officers Joe McCarthy and Steve Schneider could see a fire in the bedroom of the apartment. As they entered the apartment, they immediately saw a woman sitting on the floor near a burning bed.

The officers say her head from the shoulders up was on fire.

Officer Kincheloe picked up a shirt laying on the ground, knelt beside her and began smothering the flames on her head. Officer Schneider began putting out the fire on her shoulders.

Officers immediately contacted dispatch and requested emergency response by Boise Fire and EMS. Officers Schneider and McCarthy then went to the hallway, grabbed two fire extinguishers, returned to the room and put the fire out. Officers Kincheloe and Schneider pulled the injured woman out of the burning apartment and waited for assistance from Fire and EMS. Officers Schneider and McCarthy then went door to door in the complex letting residents know the building was on fire and to evacuate.

Boise Fire crews responded to further attend to fire danger.

Officers also found a can of lighter fluid next to where the fire had started. Boise Police arson investigators, who were called to the scene say they have determined the woman started the fire with the lighter fluid.

The 45-year-old woman was transported to a local hospital and then onto a hospital burn unit in Salt Lake City. Investigators say she was alive at the time of transport with what appeared to be serious burns to her head, face and hands. Her current condition in unknown to police at this time.

“The actions of these officers is nothing short of heroic,” said Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson. “Their quick thinking and decisive action saved this woman’s life and helped stop the spread of a fire in a crowded apartment building. They risked their own safety to save others, which is the height of service and sacrifice to the community. They deserve commendation.”

The officers were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.