Efforts mount to help Idaho City fire victims

Efforts are mounting to help Idaho City businesses devastated by a Friday morning fire that wiped out a block on Main Street Friday morning.

A GoFundMe page, Help Jim, had gathered $4,525 by Monday evening to help for Jim Barrett, who ran the cafe Calamity Jayne's and reportedly has no other source of income. The goal, initially $5,000, has been doubled to $10,000.

Ashley Elliott, who established that page, said community members hope to hold a major fund-raising event to help the fire's victims, but details and dates have yet to be worked out."The whole city wants to do something,” Elliott said.

A bake sale held Sunday raised $1,900, with 40 to 50 people donating baked goods, said Becky Gilbert, owner of Sarsparilla, an ice cream parlor destroyed by the blaze. Five businesses were destroyed along the boardwalk.

Gilbert hopes to have her business up and running by the end of the week at another Idaho City location, she said Monday.

The cause of the fire has not been determined. Mayor Jim Obland said Monday it could take a couple of weeks to nail down the cause. The city wants that information as soon as possible, Obland said, so the state fire marshal can release the site and the city can clean up the mess left behind.

The state fire marshal could not be reached for comment Monday and reportedly is not reachable this week.