Boise & Garden City

Boise man burned while trying to light incense in his apartment

A Wednesday morning apartment fire in a complex along the 2000 block of South Vista Avenue was quickly extinguished, Boise firefighters said.

The fire started when the resident of the apartment dropped a butane torch he was using to light incense. The man uses a wheelchair and couldn’t quickly retrieve the dropped torch, Boise Fire Battalion Chief Steve Rasuto said.

The man was burned on his leg, but his injuries aren’t life-threatening, Rasuto said. Freddy Jose Mbaye Kette, a maintenance employee for the apartment complex, helped pull the man out of the apartment and said he seemed disoriented and “traumatized.”

The man kept trying to re-enter the apartment after he was rescued, Kette said.

Kette and other tenants of the complex tackled the fire with a nearby garden hose, he said. Firefighters put out the fire within minutes of arriving on scene. Nearby apartments weren’t affected.

“I tried to keep him outside and sprayed (the apartment) with water,” Kette said.

Rasuto said that while the fire was put out quickly, the fire department prefers civilians don’t put themselves in dangerous situations.

“We don’t generally recommend people go into burning buildings with a garden hose,” he said.

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