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500,000 gallons of water used to fight Parma onion facility fire damages nearby home

Water used to fight Parma onion facility fire damages nearby home. (KBOI staff photo)

Crews sprayed half a million gallons of water on the JC Watson storage shed fire Thursday night to put it out.

All that water had to go somewhere and some of it came into the home of Heather Squibbs just yards from the scene.

“It flooded the crawlspace, flooded my kids’ bedrooms and soaked the carpet,” Heather said.

If it seems like déjà vu for these residents, that’s because it is.

Fire of undetermined cause destroyed a previous storage shed right here in 2016. And during the rebuilding of that shed, the structure collapsed in 2017, injuring six workers.

And now this fire at the new shed.

“It is kind of crazy, and scary,” said Olivia Camacho who lives next door to Heather Squibb. “But you deal with it and we’ve done it before. You grab your animals and get your kids out.”

“It certainly is coincidence,” said state fire marshal Knute Sandahl. “It's our job to take care of any rumors that may be floating around the community and see if we can determine the origin of the fire.”

Are there rumors floating around the community?

“I can only imagine because of the short time between incidents here,” Sandahl said.

Parma fire crews were assisted by the Caldwell, Middleton and wilder fire departments. They kept the fire from spreading to any nearby buildings.

“It was fully involved,” said Parma Fire Chief James Cook. “The biggest challenge was getting all the vehicles in the right place at the right time.”

A spokeswoman for JC Watson said the company is thankful there were no injuries. The building is a total loss, she said, and the company is calculating what that will mean financially.

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