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Evacuee credits neighbors for saving Howe home

Howe is recovering after a massive fire tore through the community of just over 300 people and destroyed six buildings Tuesday afternoon.

The scene is hard to ignore in Howe, a town of about 350 people.

Dozens upon dozens of people turned out today to stop and look at what some are calling their town’s ground zero.

No one was hurt in the blaze.

Firefighters were still hard at work Wednesday morning, extinguishing hot spots among the ashes that stand in place of six buildings along Little Lost River Road.

“We’ve done exterior pictures and walked around the whole area taking pictures, done some measurements,” said Ivan Hibbert, Idaho fire marshal.

There are still plenty of questions for Hibbert, who has just begun what he says could be a lengthy investigation. Hibbert said it’s likely the fire started in the Howe Cafe.

“There’s supposed to be a insurance investigator tomorrow,” said Hibbert. “Maybe we’ll know more then.”

But there’s one thing evacuee Lou Jones can tell you: She feels “very blessed.”

Jones’ house was sitting right in the line of fire, and yet it was completely spared.

“The fire went up the mountain, all around the back of my house,” said Jones.

Jones credited her friends and neighbors for saving her home.

She said they jumped into action with garden hoses and shovels, soaking the ground and moving away anything in the yard that could fuel a fire.

She will have quite the view from her bedroom window, but at least the woman who introduced herself as the only evacuee from the fire will be able to sleep at home tonight.

“Without my friends, my house would have gone,” said Jones.

As of Wednesday, there was no word on a dollar amount for the damage. That figure could come Thursday when the insurance investigator arrives.

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