New information released Sunday from the Valley County Sheriff's Office indicates two juveniles were among the four victims killed in a cabin fire Friday night near Tamarack. The other two victims have been identified Master Sergeant Erin Smith and Lieutenant Colonel James Harper III, of Boise.
Erin Smith made history last year by becoming the first female armor enlisted soldier in the country when she graduated from the Army's M1 Armor Crewman school.
46-year-old Lieutenant Colonel William "Mitch" Smith of Boise, was transported to St. Luke’s McCall Hospital and treated and released.
According to Smith’s statement at the time of the fire, he indicated there could be possibly four victims trapped in the residence. The State Fire Marshal has confirmed locating four victims inside who appeared to be deceased due to the fire.
All of the victims have been recovered and turned over to the Valley County Coroner’s Office. Autopsies are set for 7/3/17.
"We are unable to confirm the identities of the fire victims at this time," a press release from the Valley County Sheriff's Office stated. "William Smiths statement identifies the other victims as: his wife, Erin Smith, 34, Boise, their friend James Harper III, 49, Boise, and two juveniles. The Valley County Sheriff’s Office has a policy to not release juvenile information."
The Idaho National Guard has issued the following statement:
"It is with great sadness that our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and loved ones of those lost in this horrible accident."
- Idaho National Guard Commanding General Major General Gary L Sayler
"The Idaho National Guard family is here for the families of our members as the community tries to understand this incomprehensible event".
- Major Chris Borders
The death investigation will be turned over to the Valley County Coroner’s Office. The State Fire Marshal will issue their findings at a later date.
The Valley County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center received multiple calls about the structure fire at 541 Whitewater Drive in Donnelly, ID Friday night shortly after 10:00 p.m.
Responders from Donnelly Fire, Cascade Fire, McCall Fire, Idaho State Police, US Forest Service Law Enforcement, Southern Idaho Timber Protection Association, and the Valley County Sheriff’s Office responded and found the structure was fully engulfed.
The units conducted suppression efforts and extinguished the fire. The cause is still under investigation.