Two people were killed and eight were injured early Saturday by a fire in a low-income residential hotel downtown.
About two dozen people were evacuated from the Greystone Hotel to a temporary shelter at the police station just half a block away while the Red Cross and Salvation Army worked to find them housing, Assistant Police Chief Alan Creech said.Authorities were still trying to identify one of the victims, and Creech said the names would be withheld pending notification of relatives.
Firefighters got the alarm about 3 a.m. The Meridian and Star fire departments were called in to assist local crews battling the blaze, which Creech said did extensive damage to the hotel's interior before it was brought under control.
Eight people were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries at local hospitals and a number of others were treated at the scene. One badly burned person was flown to a Salt Lake hospital.
Creech said the cause and origin of the fire had not been determined. An investigation was being conducted by the Canyon County Arson Task Force, but he said that did not indicate officials necessarily suspected arson was involved.
The three-story Greystone Hotel, owned by local resident Ken Marrs, is one of the older downtown buildings in the southwestern Idaho city of roughly 30,000 people about 20 miles west of Boise.
"But the building did have smoke detectors in it, and they did work," Creech said.