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8 displaced after flames burn through roof of 124-year-old Downtown Boise building

Eight people were displaced by an apartment fire near 14th and Jefferson streets in Downtown Boise on Tuesday evening, according to Boise fire officials. One man suffered smoke inhalation, but was not taken to the hospital.

Thick smoke was reported coming from a multifamily apartment building at 1421 Jefferson Street around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, an Ada County dispatcher said.

Shortly after 8 p.m., flames and smoke were visible from outside the building. Crews were still fighting the flames at 8:15 p.m.

“When our crews were pulling out of the station (nearby), they noticed a big column of smoke and some visible flames,” Battalion Chief John Peugh said at the scene. “So we knew it was advanced.”

Peugh said the flames were coming from the second floor of the building.

On April 12, Boise Fire tweeted that it had responded to a two-story, multifamily apartment complex in the 1400 block of West Jefferson. Peugh told the Statesman the fire April 12 also occurred on the second floor of the building, and that Boise Fire Department would be investigating any possible connection between the incidents. The first fire reportedly displaced three people.

“We don’t know if it’s suspicious or not,” Peugh said. “That’s what our investigators are here for. So they’ll do their job in their investigation and try to figure it out.”

Peugh said he wasn’t aware what caused the April 12 fire.

In a tweet, Boise Fire Department asked people to steer clear of the area and said the building sustained significant roof damage.

Property records show there are nine apartments in the building, which was built in 1895. Peugh said there are eight apartments.

One person sustained minor injuries and was treated by Ada County paramedics on scene, Peugh said. It wasn’t immediately clear how the fire started.

This is a breaking news report. We’ll update this story as we learn more. Reporters Audrey Dutton, Michael Katz and Kate Talerico contributed.

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