Investigators can't determine cause of Hill Road house fire

September 11, 2013 

— Officials with the Boise fire and police departments sifted through the ashes of the Aug. 1 fire at 5120 W. Hill Road for several days. Investigators continued to work the case but were unable to pinpoint the cause, according to a statement released Wednesday by the city of Boise.

"Despite the efforts, the cause will be listed as undetermined, meaning the exact cause could not be positively identified," Lynn Hightower, spokeswoman for the fire and police departments, wrote in the statement.

The five-bedroom, 6,216-square-foot house is owned by Douglas and Kathryn Hinderager of Kelso, Wash. The house and half-acre property were valued at $260,000, according to Ada County assessor's records. It was valued at as much as $457,200 in 2008, before the economy declined.

The house was built in 1956 and remodeled in 2002. It was being remodeled again at the time of the fire and the blaze quickly consumed the empty structure.

The Boise Fire Department on Wednesday released a video of the fire, shot from a camera attached to a firefighter's helmet.

Firefighters attacking the front of the house were ordered to pull back seconds before the structure collapsed in a burst of flames.

Fire Chief Dennis Doan said last month that the department came close to losing firefighters if the order to retreat hadn't been given. Capt. Randy Christensen, positioned at the back of the house, saw a wall bow and knew the house was in danger of imminent collapse. He relayed a message and the firefighters were asked to pull back.

The department had previously released video shot from a command vehicle that showed a dozen firefighters dousing the blaze in front of the two-story house.

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