Firefighters have a two-house blaze in Downtown Boise under control, but they expect it to take several hours before it's completely extinguished.
The homes at the corner of Fourth and Myrtle streets were vacant, fire officials said. The occupants of a third home nearby were evacuated early Friday morning for precautionary reasons, but their home did not burn.
Flames were visible from the roof of one of the homes pre-dawn Friday. The cause of the fire is not yet known, but it is thought to have started about 4:30 a.m. The fire was reported by several people who said they saw flames coming from one of the homes.
Fire chief Dennis Doan said the house on the corner ignited first, and flames then jumped to the second house.
"We knew there was a family in that third house, so they set their lines up between the second and third home to protect it, and evacuated the third home," he said.
No one was injured in the fire.
Doan said crews likely will be on scene past noon to make sure the fire is completely out.
Boise State University students Christian Osborne and Brian Boermeester live two doors down from the houses that burned. Boermeester said the lights and sirens woke him up.
"I saw the orange flame reflecting against those windows," he said. "There was this huge fire outside."
He roused his roommate and neighbors, and watched the fire from across the street. The pair went back inside for jackets, and said the fire had grown by the time they re-emerged.
"We came back out and the house was completely engulfed," Osborne said. "Then the far house caught on fire, and the attic went up in flames."
One of the homes that caught fire is the same house that was struck by a Jeep several weeks ago. A maintenance technician for the property management company that owns the home told the Statesman at the time that the structure would likely be torn down as a result of the damage sustained in the accident.
Myrtle was blocked between Second and Sixth streets until about 7:40 a.m. The road is now open.
View House fire in Downtown Boise in a larger map
Check back with the Statesman for updates.