Boil order issued for some after pressure from hydrant breaks water main

Ontario firefighters knock down a fire Thursday evening in the 500 block of Northwest Third Avenue. The fire consumed the attic of the home, after the fire started from a wood stove in the home.

ONTARIO — No injuries were reported Thursday evening when the Ontario Fire Department responded to a general alarm for a fire at a single-family home in the 500 block of Northwest Third Avenue.

According to Ontario Fire Chief Terry Leighton, by the time firefighters arrived on scene at about 6 p.m., the attic was ablaze.

It is believed the fire originated from a wood stove, where it then traveled up the wallspace and up through the chimney before arriving in the attic.

Fortunately, the fire was limited to those areas, Leighton said.

Of the nine occupants of the home, none reported injuries.

Responding to the fire were three engines, a rehab vehicle and tender, Leighton said. Fruitland Fire Department also responded to the house fire, in addition to Ontario Police Department and Treasure Valley Paramedics.

Jacobs, the City of Ontario’s Public Works department, was also on scene, as they had to respond to a water main breakage while firefighters attempted to put out the blaze.

According to Cliff Leeper, public works director, when the fire department attempted to use a hydrant at Laxon Park, which sits adjacent to the house that was on fire, the 6-inch water main that feeds the hydrant ruptured and cracked.

As a result, Ontario Fire Department was forced to tag onto to another hydrant located further away from the home.

The water main has been repaired, recharged and flushed, though approximately 27 homes that receive water through that main were on a “boil water notice,” which means the Public Works department had recommended to those homes to boil their water before drinking, Leeper said today.

To contact the occupants of those houses, Public Works staff has left door knockers at each of the residences or made direct contact, Leeper said.

“The water could’ve been exposed to bacteria,” Leeper said over the phone with the Argus.

The Public Works department was getting water from the main tested over a 24-hour period to ensure it wasn’t contaminated before giving the all clear.

In the meantime, water was returned to those 27 homes, though it was only to be used for laundry, toilets, showers or any use that didn’t include ingestion of the water.

It should also be noted that the procedure Jacobs is using is that mandated as state protocol.

Damage to the house is estimated at least $35,000, but probably more, Leighton said.

Red Cross was on scene Thursday evening, and is providing financial and housing assistance for the occupants of the home, Leighton said. Repair to the house will take an estimated two weeks, though it should be noted that because damage was limited to non-living areas of the house, the occupants could still choose to live in the house while repairs take place, Leighton said.


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