Neighbors at mercy of Mother Nature during 3-alarm fire

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Winds left neighbors on Hill Road at the mercy of mother nature Thursday night, when a 3-alarm fire broke out at a nearby home.

Neighbors on all sides of the home said they knew how easily their own homes could have gone up in flames, depending on the direction of the wind.

Erika Moe lives just feet from the home that was destroyed, separated only by a fence. She was one of many neighbors who called 911, concerned her home could be in the fire's path.

"Between my house and the house that was on fire there are a few trees and I was worried the trees would light on fire and then drag the fire to our roof," Moe said.

She stood and watched as the flames quickly devoured the home next door.

"Within 10-15 minutes, it was through the roof and and up 10 or 15 feet out of the roof," Moe said. "I mean, you see things like this happen and it was straight out of things you see on television. Having it happen 30 feet from your front door is pretty surreal."

With all the sirens, shouting and crowds of people gathering, Erika and her neighbors said the neighborhood looked like a movie set.

"I've just been trying to avoid, there's been a lot of traffic and a lot of sightseers over there," neighbor Jeff Sparks said.

Sparks lives across the street from the home. He said he was too busy protecting his own home to go over and watch the commotion unfold. The winds threw the flames right toward his house.

"Stuff was landing on our roofs so we came out to spray our houses down so the fire wouldn't spread any further," Sparks said.

Fire crews jumped into action to help protect Jeff and other neighborhood homes.

His home was safe, but two others suffered minor damage from the burning embers.

Sparks stayed in his house overnight, but Moe packed up a few of her things and stayed with a friend. When she returned home, she said she felt lucky that the flames didn't change direction toward her home overnight.

"I didn't really know what my house looked like until this morning," Moe said.

Both Moe and Sparks say they're lucky nothing happened to their homes, but are amazed by the destruction of the home just across the road.

"Oh my god it's gone," Moe said. "I mean, its completely gone."

Neighbors said they were very thankful for all of the help they got overnight from emergency crews. Crews stayed on scene all night.