Post Falls fire deemed suspicious

Blaze destroys two mobile homes in park being shut down

POST FALLS - The fire that destroyed two mobile homes on Saturday night at a Post Falls park that's being shut down is believed to be suspicious, according to investigators.

The homes at the El Rancho Mobile Home Park at the northwest corner of Highway 41 and Mullan Avenue were vacant, said Shaena Dunn, Kootenai County Fire and Rescue spokeswoman.

No injuries were reported.

Dunn said there have been problems of vandalism and theft in recent days at the park.

"We don't know how the fire started, but it's being called suspicious because nobody was there, the gas was off and no appliances were plugged in," Dunn said.

Dunn said the home where the fire started - No. 60 - sustained vandalism damage about a week ago.

No arrests have been made.

"As far as we know, no one was seen leaving the buildings," Dunn said.

The fire at the 50-year-old park at 3957 E. Mullan Ave. was reported at 6:28 p.m.

When a Kootenai County deputy arrived, the home where the fire started was engulfed in flames. Nearby residents were evacuated from their homes as a precaution.

KCFR will collaborate with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office on the investigation.

Two other homes were threatened by the fire, but were spared by firefighters.

Coeur d'Alene Fire, Northern Lakes and Avista Utilities assisted KCFR in the incident.

Five or six spaces remain occupied at the 70-lot, 8.7-acre park despite residents earlier being told to move out by July 31. Other homes have either been moved or abandoned.

Residents were served a six-month park closure notice earlier this year.

Some of the tenants weren't able to move the structures because they are too old or the residents couldn't muster the estimated $4,500 moving cost.

If the home was built before June 15, 1976, under state law, it must go through a rehabilitation process, which can be cost-prohibitive in some cases.

The park site is considered prime commercial ground since it's at one of the busiest intersections in North Idaho.

Bob Kirkpatrick, who owned the property for 29 years, and RMM Investments sold it five years ago for $3.32 million to a group of developers/investors called 41 and Mullan Investments, LLC.

Last winter Vandervert Developments and five other partner investors parted ways and split their properties. FF, LLC acquired El Rancho.

Randall Probasco, a Coeur d'Alene attorney representing FF, LLC, couldn't be reached for comment on Monday.

Probasco earlier said the park's closure was due to the aging and deterioration of the park's infrastructure, which can lead to health issues. The park is also not adequate for new units, he said.

Plans for the site have not been announced.

Read More Local News

Constitutional Contention

February 25, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d’ALENE — A proposal asking for the U.S. Constitution amendment limiting the federal government’s spending power is heading to the Idaho Senate floor. The Senate State Affairs Committee spent ...

Read More

Big day for Windermere giveaway

February 25, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press By DEVIN HEILMAN Staff Writer COEUR d’ALENE — Windermere Real Estate agents must have been very busy last year, because Friday marked a milestone in their philanthropic endeavors. The Windermere...

Read More

Enter the Age of Azmodai

February 25, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press   By KEITH COUSINS Staff Writer COEUR d'ALENE — Joe Matison has been dreaming up fictional worlds ever since he was a child. One of those worlds will soon come to life in the form o...

Read More

Charter sweeps North Idaho math competition

February 25, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy swept the North Idaho Chapter of Math Counts competition Tuesday hosted by Idaho Society of Professional Engineers and North Idaho College. The top two schools and top ...

Read More

X