Cottonwood Chief of Police
After extinguishing the fire and removing smoke from the building, Cottonwood Police and Idaho County Sheriff Deputies photographed the inside of the residence and removed Mr. Jull who was then transported to Uhlorn funeral home.
During firefighting efforts Cottonwood Fire Department noticed several items, which appeared to be military style ordinance. A request was made to the Idaho State Fire Marshal's office for assistance in a formal fire cause investigation. Due to the ammunition, Idaho State Communication was notified and, over a conference call late that night, it was decided that Mountain Home Air Force Base Explosive Ordinance Disposal personnel would respond and assist as well. Cottonwood Police remained on scene throughout the night to ensure security.
On Wednesday, May 13, Cottonwood Police, assisted by the Idaho State Fire Marshal and the Explosive Ordinance Disposal team (EOD) began the task of investigating the cause of the fire, as well as clearing the scene of any unsafe munitions. During this investigation the seat of the fire was discovered, which has been determined to have been arson, as in deliberately set, as well as numerous "apple box" size boxes of ammunition. Through efforts by the Idaho County Sheriff Dispatchers a relative of the homeowner was located out of state and contacted by the police department.
Due to concerns for public safety Police Chief Terry Cochran requested that the EOD team destroy the ammunition, approximately 10 apple box containers full, along with the other ordinance inside the residence. This decision was made in cooperation with the relative's wishes, and in following their request.
Cottonwood Police received permission to use the rock pit on Keuterville Road to destroy the munitions. The ordinance items, which EOD verified were collector quality and not live explosives, were destroyed by utilizing C4 explosives. This was the large boom that many people have talked about. Due to safety concerns the other ammunition was placed into a second pit and burnt vs. exploding it. The building has been secured.
A couple of photos showing Cottonwood Volunteer firemen fighting the fire at the Robert Jull home.