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Family Looks For Answers After Fire

A local family is devastated after losing everything in a house fire, but they are also looking for answers.

The home just north of Groveland in Bingham County caught fire Tuesday afternoon.

Spiegel said the fire stared in the corner of her living room. It was a frantic few moments as she called 911, rushing her 22-year-old son and dogs out of the burning house, a $300,000-plus loss.

Firefighters from Blackfoot, Firth and Fort Hall responded to the blaze.

Spiegel?s Bingham County street north of Groveland doesn?t have a single fire hydrant, and hydrants a mile and a half away in Groveland were bone dry.

?It was just a little too late by the time they got the water here,? she said.

She is asking why.

?I?m sorry. I?m just so devastated, you have no idea,? said homeowner Cheryl Spiegel. ?How come we don?t have fire hydrants on this road? I just couldn?t believe they couldn?t get water in the house. I mean being the fire department — you’d think their main priority would be water, you know what I mean??

Blackfoot Fire Lieutenant Branden Wall said tankers had to fill up at a Sinclair station about three miles away at the Interstate 15 junction with U.S. Highway 26. The department said their trucks responded to the fire in about 10 minutes. For fires outside city-limits, water almost always needs to be trucked in by tankers.

?There was a little bit of lag in time in shuttling the water we needed,? Wall said.

Since the house was not in Blackfoot city limits, ?if the hydrants happen to work, that’s great, but we don’t count on them,? Wall said.

Couple the water delay with response from Firth and Fort Hall firefighters, and Wall said there are places the department can improve in organizing future responses. ?We could have done better in working together, making better assignments and being a little more concise.?

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. No one was hurt in the fire, but the Spiegels said they were unable to rescue their cat.

?I was extremely devastated,? Cheryl Spiegel said. ?I couldn?t believe how unprepared ? everyone was so unprepared. ? I just want to know actually what the heck happened.”

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