Canyon County

UPDATE: Discarded cigarette caused 3-alarm Nampa apartment fire

A cigarette put in a plastic planter sparked a 3-alarm fire Wednesday that destroyed three apartment units at the Brookside Apartments at 2324 Sunnybrook Drive, just south of Sunnybrook’s intersection with East Greenhurst Road.

Three other adjacent units in the 12-unit building were also damaged, said Dave May, a battalion chief with the Nampa Fire Department. But the structural integrity of the overall building is OK, he said, and residents of the other six apartments were already back at home early Wednesday afternoon. No one was injured in the blaze.

Dispatchers received the first call about the fire at 11:40 a.m. By the time the first firefighters arrived at 11:45 a.m., the whole side of the apartment building was up in flames, May said. The planter was on the patio of a ground-floor apartment; the fire spread up two stories from there.

Fire crews extinguished the flames by 12:15 p.m. with help from agencies in Canyon County, Caldwell and Kuna. Meridian firefighters also responded, but the fire was out before they arrived.

Residents displaced by the fire will get help from the Nampa Fire Department’s burnout fund and the American Red Cross. Those in the moderately damaged units should be able to move back in after a couple of days, May said.

Sherry Lewis of Melba told the Statesman that she left the cigarette in the planter while visiting her mother, Ruth Cleveland, who lives in the first-floor apartment where the fire started. The blaze was an accident, said Lewis, who plans to take in her mother while the apartments are repaired.

Cleveland said she wasn’t home at the time.

“I don’t have a bed,” she said while listing her losses. “I don’t have clothes.”