BOISE, Idaho — Potential noxious smoke prompted a warning for people in west Boise Monday morning. The thick black smoke could be seen from miles away after a fire broke out at the old Valley View Elementary School in Milwaukee near Ustick Road.
Fire crews were called at 9:39 a.m. and a dozen different ladder trucks and fire engines responded. Crews quickly realized the smoke could be a problem for neighbors.
Boise Fire is responding to a structure fire at a building being demolished. There are no reports of injuries at this time. Boise fire will provide an update to media in the next few minutes at Milwaukee and Bayhill.— Boise Fire Dept. (@BoiseFire) June 21, 2021
"Out of an abundance of caution, we've sent out area notifications to the neighborhoods in reference to the noxious smoke that's coming off the building predominantly just the streets rim in the area of the Valley View Elementary School," said Aaron Hummel, Boise Fire division chief operations. "We just don't know exactly what's in the smoke it's kind of a chemical of cocktails."
The fire destroyed most of the old school, which was scheduled for demolition this week. Construction crews were working outside the building when the fire started.
Firefighters set up structure protection to protect the new school which is directly behind the old school. The fire was contained to the old school and did not spread to any nearby structures.
A news release says six firefighters were treated for heat-related injuries, two of which were taken to the hospital for further treatment. One firefighter has been released.
“Anytime we have a fire of this size, controlling the spread of the fire and firefighter safety are a top concern,” said Hummel. “As part of our planning and preparation for large scale fires our Boise Fire team sets up a rehabilitation unit with assistance from Ada County Paramedics to help identify and treat heat-related injuries and return firefighters back to work as safely as possible.”
Two construction workers reported minor injuries and were treated by Ada County Paramedics. The investigation into what caused the fire is underway.