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Idaho fire marshal: Review needed after nursing home burns

The Idaho state fire marshal says an eastern Idaho nursing home destroyed by fire met all applicable fire codes, but he’s going to recommend those codes be reviewed on a national level.

Fire Marshal Knute Sandahl said Friday that he helped investigate the fire that destroyed the Safe Haven Health Care facility in Pocatello early on Nov. 18.

All 49 residents plus staff made it out, with four to eight suffering smoke inhalation and a firefighter sustaining a knee injury. Estimated damage is greater than $2 million.

Sandahl says the building’s attic sprinkler system was abandoned in 2007 because national fire codes for the facility used by Idaho don’t require an operating sprinkler system in unoccupied areas.

He says the fire started in the wood-framed attic and spread.

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