The soon-to-be demolished Valley View Elementary School on Boise’s West Bench caught fire on Monday morning. According to Boise Police Department spokesperson Haley Williams, the fire was determined to be an accident, caused by a power tool striking a gas line.
Boise Fire responded to the fire at 9:39 a.m. on Monday. As of noon that day, the main body of the fire was out, but the building could smolder for hours, said Boise Fire Department Battalion Chief Aaron Hummel during a press briefing.
Two minor injuries were reported by construction workers who were working outside of the building. They were treated by paramedics, according to the fire department. Six firefighters were treated for heat-related injuries, and two went to the hospital, the fire department said in a news release. There were no evacuations for the surrounding area, but there was a noxious smoke alert sent out.
Dan Hollar, Boise spokesman, said the district has built a new school at the site, but the fire was concentrated on the old facility, which was due to be torn down this week. The fire will slightly delay the demolition of the old building as fire investigators look into the cause of the blaze.
Nobody was in the building when the fires started, according to Williams. The district did not have any summer school activities on site, Hollar said.
The new elementary facility did not catch fire, but it did get pummeled by smoke. Hummel said there was a hot spot on the roof of the new school, which a thermal camera detected, but the building did not catch fire. After the investigation was concluded, Williams said there was no damage to the new building.
The new facility is expected to be open for the 2021-22 school year.
— Nik Streng (@NikStreng) June 21, 2021