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One year later: Burnt shell of scorched house all that remain of family home

Van Danielson surveys the damage of what was once a home his father built, one year after a devastating fire destroyed it. (KBOI Photos)

It's been one year since the Table Rock Fire scorched two thousand acres of land. The fire swept through the area burning everything in its path, including one home.

One year later, the house is a mere shell of the home it used to be, and the owner says he's still trying to pick up the pieces.

All around the house are burnt reminders of the cozy place Van Danielson called home. A bike, warped from the heat of the flames, is among the many possessions that were scorched.


Half a century ago, Danielson's father built this home in Boise that overlooked the valley. Now, all that's left is a shell.

"It just took the whole house clear to the ground," Danielson said as he looked at the cinder block frame, the only remnant of the house.

The first floor is completely gone. Twisted metal that was once a place for his grandchildren to sleep remains, warped from the heat.


"Right below me is remnants of a twin bunk bed," Danielson said. "The fire got so hot it just folded in half."

His mother's china lays on the ground, shattered. Bicycles and other possessions lay destroyed.

The fire started when Taylor Kemp lit a roman candle firework. That firework sparked a 2,600 acre fire.

Kemp was sentenced to jail last month and is ordered to pay $400,000 dollars in restitution, but Danielson says he doesn't expect to see a dime of that money.

That leaves Danielson with one option.

"The only option I have now is to dispose of the land, because I didn't have insurance on the place, so I'm forced to sell," Danielson said.

Danielson says he didn't have insurance because after his parents died no one lived there permanently. When the fire struck, his son and his family were staying there.

"The outcome of this fire could have been very very severe, I could have had five funerals," Danielson said.

His son and grandchildren were able to escape the fire, but Kemp has never apologized.


"Even during the sentencing he never acknowledged me, he never said I'm sorry," Danielson said.

Danielson hopes Kemp will eventually help him clear all of the debris, but is frustrated because of all the people who graffiti the walls and steal things.

A year after losing the home, Danielson says there's one thing no one can take away.

"It's almost unfathomable what I have lost," Danielson said. "The one thing Mr. Kemp did not take from me is my memories, he may have taken the physical items, but the mental? No, sorry didn't work kid."


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