Woman billed for Jerome fire would like written apology

JEROME, Idaho (KBOI) -- The woman who got a $96,000 bill from the city of Jerome for firefighting costs in the city's biggest fire says she would like an apology in writing.

The city sent Sylvia Moore the bill earlier this month, but as KBOI News first reported Thursday, the city of Jerome now says the bill was a mistake.

If so, it was a whopper.

But Moore isn't convinced the city simply goofed up.

"The city attorney called me and said it was an error," Moore told KBOI News Friday. "And he said I wasn't going to billed, that they would rectify it, and blah, blah, blah. I said it wasn't an error. He said yeah it was. I said, you and I both know it wasn't."

The bill covered firefighting expenses for an April 30 blaze that was accidentally started by a tenant in a downtown apartment building owned by Moore.

It's being called the biggest fire in Jerome's history.

Jerome Fire Chief Jack Krill said Moore or her insurance company should pay for the costs of fighting the fire that also damaged two nearby buildings.

The city sent Moore the bill saying "we demand cost recovery".

It's a detailed bill with three pages outlining all the expenses.

KBOI News called the Jerome city attorney Friday to ask how the mistake could possibly have happened but we were told he wasn't speaking to the media.

Neither the mayor nor the fire chief could be reached for comment.

And now Moore wants an apology in writing from the fire chief.

"It's nice that I got an apology and all that," she said. "But until I get it in writing, it doesn't mean anything really."

She said the city only formally expressed regret in a press release.

And according to the Twin Falls Times-News, two members of the Jerome City Council also wonder how such a billing mistake could happen.

The Times-News reported Friday that Councilman Dale Ross also has questions for the city.

And according to the Times-News, Councilman Chris Barber also expressed his disappointment on how the situation was handled.

Tthe newspaper reports Barber said the council was not informed about the billing and called the situation a "black eye" to the city of Jerome.