Latest News

HVAC work sparked fire that led to 60 percent of Knitting Factory being damaged

Smoke billows out of the Knitting Factory in Downtown Boise

The Boise Fire Department is responding to an emergency situation on the 400 block of South Ninth Street in or near the Knitting Factory, according to the police scanner. Smoke could be seen from the alleyway near the Knit.
Up Next
The Boise Fire Department is responding to an emergency situation on the 400 block of South Ninth Street in or near the Knitting Factory, according to the police scanner. Smoke could be seen from the alleyway near the Knit.

The fire that struck the Knitting Factory in Downtown Boise late Tuesday afternoon wasn’t large or fast-moving, but it was hard for firefighters to get to because it was in floorboards and walls, a Boise Fire Department spokeswoman said Wednesday.

About 60 percent of the interior of the popular concert venue is damaged. The fire was reported at about 5 p.m., and multiple fire engines were dispatched to the scene, which was affected by rush-hour traffic.

“What wasn’t fire damaged was water damaged,” BFD spokeswoman Char Jackson said.

Boise Fire Department officials said late Wednesday afternoon that the fire was accidentally caused by a contractor working on the HVAC system for the business. The contractor accidentally created a spark when cutting metal duct work, and the spark spread to nearby materials to ignite the blaze.

The fire burned above the mezzanine, in between the first and second floor. Firefighters had to break windows and rip into walls to get to the fire, and that left a lot of debris on the floor, Jackson said.

Knit damage 2.jpg
There’s extensive fire, smoke and water damage to the interior of the Knitting Factory due to Tuesday’s fire. (Photo by Char Jackson/Boise Fire)

“The fire wasn’t swift or aggressive fire but damage-wise it was pretty devastating,” Jackson said.

The good news, she said, is that the building is still structurally sound, though some interior beams in the ceiling were charred. Some subfloor was cut, too.

On Wednesday morning, Knitting Factory employees were waiting outside for fire investigators to arrive — and to get an update on the extent of the damage.

Knit damage 3 (2).JPG
Fire, smoke and water caused extensive damage to the interior of the Knitting Factory. Char Jackson Boise Fire Department

A Lizzo and Chanti Darling concert was scheduled at the Knit on Thursday.

“The show will go on,” talent buyer Danny Glazier said. The Lizzo concert will now be held at the Revolution Concert House in Garden City. All tickets will be honored, according to a Facebook post from the Knitting Factory.

Getting the Lizzo concert squared away was their priority, then they are going to go through their calendar of other shows to determine what they need to do with other upcoming shows, Glazier and others said.

Power was shut off to the Knitting Factory and adjoining buildings. It had been restored to Bonefish Grill by Wednesday afternoon. An Idaho Power spokesman said nine affected meters were expected to be back up by dinner time, once electricians have determined it’s safe to turn them back on.

According to previous Idaho Statesman reporting, the Knitting Factory, 416 S. Ninth St., is requesting its legal capacity to be increased from 999 to 1,195 people, according to an application with the city of Boise. The move would add more bathrooms and other improvements.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413

Related stories from Idaho Statesman

  Comments