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One Year Anniversary Of Fire In Downtown Jerome

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By Brittany Cooper

Jerome, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) A year ago Wednesday, downtown Jerome was turned upside down.

A fire broke out, destroying buildings and leaving dozens of residents displaced.

"We were on scene for almost an entire week, but for the initial fire operations period, we had nine fire departments from around the Magic Valley that helped us. They were an invaluable help. Without them, we probably wouldn't have been able to get control of it as quickly as we did," explains Tom Hughes, Jerome Fire Chief.

One million gallons of water, agencies coming from near and far to help.

One of those was Chris Taylor, an American Red Cross volunteer who arrived later in the week with his wife.

"The majority of the people who were in the shelter at the time had found other accommodations. When my wife and I arrived on the scene, we were in the process of starting to out-process people and getting a handle on the in-kind donations coming in the form of clothing and food. Our main goal was to ensure the safety of the residents that were still here and to ensure that if there were other problems that arise, to take care of them," he says.

All that's left today is a sign showcasing the lots for sale, as well as a gaping hole on the north side of Main Street in downtown Jerome.

"The Jerome Urban Renewal Agency is working on a new area which will be called area 3, which encompasses part of the downtown and also extends a little bit north and south on Lincoln and east and west on Main Street, so hopefully that will add some interest for redevelopment in the future," explains Zoe Monahan, Community Development Director.

A fire that will be sketched into the history of Jerome and possibly shape its future.

On a side note, firefighters were able to retrieve a suitcase filled with money and passports for one of the residents.


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