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Officials release cause of fire at “La Mexicana”

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho (KIFI) - Officials have now released the cause of the fire that took out "La Mexicana" Tuesday afternoon. The cause of the fire was a faulty electrical switch located in the front of the store.

Officials told us Tuesday no foul play was involved, and no one was injured in the fire.

The fire was located in the front of the store where the switch was located, and thanks to the efforts of firefighters and other first responders, it was put out fairly quickly.

The 17 families who were displaced by this fire should be able to return home on Wednesday if that is their desire.

"We're doing our final walkthroughs with all the apartments today. If all goes well, which is 99%, we'll get everyone back end by tonight. So that would be a huge plus. And they can come back and enjoy their space," David Holladay their landlord said.

David shares that while most of the families will be able to move in unfortunately as his apartment was close to the fire, there was a lot more smoke damage.

"We are right as close as we can to the space where the fire was. So we got a lot more smoke damage in our apartment. But we're trying to take steps to remedy that and see what we can do to fix that up," Holladay said.

Holladay also says that he is very grateful for the effort the chaplains of Idaho gave to him and his tenants. As such I wanted to learn more about the ways the chaplains can help. The president of the chaplains of Idaho Christa Trinchera shared what they do once they arrive on the scene.

"The chaplain's role is to determine who has been displaced and whether or not they have a place to stay. Some may have family or friends that they can stay with. Others may need shelter in this particular case. They're all able to return today. So it was one night of housing that was required for these families. So our chaplains are working with them to ensure that they all have a place. And if needed, the chaplains will provide housing for them via hotel rooms and local shelters," Trinchera said.

She adds that chaplains do more than help families displaced by fire.

"The chaplains will stay alongside. We also assist in opening a Red Cross claim for the family. But until the Red Cross steps in and the chaplains are there to meet all of the needs. Sometimes that food, sometimes the clothing. Other times it's providing a hotel room, maybe a place for their pets to stay. But the chaplains are there to assist them as long as they need us," Trinchera said.

Trinchera says chaplains even receive special training to help families as they deal with their trauma and those hard emotions.

"The unique thing about chaplains of Idaho is that our chaplains are trauma and crisis trained, so they go through extensive training and trauma and grief support. So they're there on scene to provide those occupants of the structure fire or any crime that may be committed. Chaplains are on scene to assist them with long term trauma and crisis care, connect them with the appropriate resources and make sure that they're moving forward in that in a healthy manner," Trinchera said.

Dave did say many of the families are choosing to move home soon, while others have chosen to stay away for now.

You can read our previous story HERE.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8.


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