Fire crew's Tater Tots start blaze
A fire station crew must be a little embarrassed by the way some of this state's famous potatoes got fried. Boise firefighters returning from a medical call had to turn their hose on the firehouse kitchen after an overheated pan full of Tater Tots melted and set some cabinets ablaze.
The Christmas Eve fire at Station 8 was quickly extinguished, with no injuries. No damage estimate was available. Investigators were trying to determine why a computerized safety system that automatically turns off appliances when firefighters are called away apparently had not been activated. Assistant Fire Chief Dave Hanneman said the three firefighters on duty might have forgotten to use it.
Furs found after 30 years in storage
Sam Haskins didn't ask for a fur coat for Christmas, but he got six of them. Haskins, the new owner of a hardware store, made an unexpected discovery early this month when he started poking around the basement: a climate-controlled vault containing six fur coats, about a dozen suits and some dresses and hats, apparently untouched since the late 1970s. "The fans were spinning and the furs were spotless," said Haskins. "Everything inside was very nice and clean. The fan was set on 65 degrees and that is exactly what the thermometer read. Everyone wants to know who has been paying the electricity bill. "Haskins, 56, bought J&H Hardware in May and the building — a three-story structure on the village square — in September. In surveying the basement, he figured there might be usable space hidden behind a wall that had hinges on it. With son Jeremy Haskins, 27, he rented an electric hammer and then a jackhammer and eventually bored through 18 inches of brick and mortar, four inches of wallboard and then a cement wall to find the room once used by Royal Furriers, a business that closed in the late 1970s. Haskins said he had no idea what the coats are worth, but planned to have them appraised. It was unclear whether anyone could step forward to claim a long-lost coat — or whether anyone who did would be on the hook for 30 years of storage fees.