Weippe house fire that killed three-year-old boys caused by electrical fault, Fire Marshal says

Weippe house catches fire
Credit: Clearwater County Sheriff's Office

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho State Fire Marshal has determined the cause of a Weippe house fire that killed two three-year-old boys on Friday.

Fire Marshal Knute Sandahl determined the fire was caused by an electrical fault in a light fixture.

According to the Idaho Department of Insurance, the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office prioritized rescuing the boys, but a collapsed roof and weakened floors prevented them from being able to enter.

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The boys were reportedly last seen sleeping in the living room when the fire began. Parents Hanna Hueth and Chance Carr tried to get to the boys but were reportedly driven back by intense heat and thick smoke.

Carr helped Hueth out the window and the two of them repeatedly tried to get back into the living room through windows, but could not enter due to the flames. Hueth reportedly stopped a motorist driving by and called 911.

Weippe, Pierce and Orofino Fire Departments arrived and battled the flames for hours, but the boys died in the fire.

“This was one of the most difficult cases I’ve dealt with in my 35-year career,” said Fire Marshal Sandahl. “After about 5 hours of searching the twins were found in the kitchen area. The tragic loss of these two boys impacted every State Fire Marshal investigator and first responder there, and no doubt the entire community of Weippe. Our hearts goes out to the family of John and Shawn.”

The Department of Insurance reports that while there were smoke alarms in the home, no alarms were reported to be heard or found in the investigation.