Arsonist burns down St. Ignatius home
ST. IGNATIUS – St. Ignatius Police Chief Matthew Connelly believes arson was the reason a house at 314 Diamond Street filled with flames and smoke during the morning of Wednesday, June 26. The house was for sale at the time of the fire and no one was in the structure.
Connelly said he was at the home on Tuesday and found evidence of another fire in the living room. “An amateur tried to start a fire and didn’t get enough air to the flames so it went out,” he said.
The second fire got plenty of oxygen and burned for about two hours. Connelly said he has a few leads on a possible suspect but isn’t releasing names at this time.
The St. Ignatius Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene and quickly called for mutual aid from the Ronan Fire Department to get more water on the structure.
The two departments worked together to dump water into the house from three trucks. A light breeze moved a large plume of smoke from east to west several times while they worked. Connelly advised people watching the fire to try and not breathe the smoke.
St. Ignatius assistant fire chief Reece Bailey could be seen climbing a ladder to the second story of the home and pushing out the window frame. He held a fire hose and sprayed water into the house as smoke rolled out the window.
After the smoke went down, firefighters from both teams put on oxygen tanks and went into the home to knock down the remaining flames.
The home is adjacent to Main Street and across from the senior apartments. Residents of the apartment complex said they smelled smoke and went outside to see the house on fire. One woman said, “It’s a shame to see such a pretty little house burn down.” The white picket fence surrounding the house remained intact.