Sunday, April 18, 2021
Croy Street Exchange Building Fire Melts Other Buildings
Wood River Fire and Rescue took this picture of the building engulfed.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021


The fire that destroyed the Croy Street Exchange Building in Hailey Tuesday morning was so hot it burnt the vinyl in cars and a house across the street, the Hailey Fire Chief said Tuesday afternoon.

“It burned hot with temperatures in the thousands of degrees. Just standing next to it was 1,200 degrees,” said Hailey Fire Chief Mike Baledge. “The radiant heat coming off was impressive.”

Baledge said he arrived at the building at Croy and River streets two minutes after firefighters were notified of the fire at 5:10 in the morning. The two-story building, which extended nearly a block down River Street, was fully engulfed with flames shooting 40 feet into the sky. Seven minutes later the building collapsed.

The fire left soggy charred twisted rubble strewn across the lot.

“Workers had removed the sheetrock and insulation in the past few weeks, stripped it down to the wood. So once it started, it went. It was impressive,” Baledge said.

Thirteen fire trucks and more than 40 firefighters from Hailey, Wood River, Sun Valley, Ketchum, Bellevue and North Blaine County fire departments responded to the blaze, which colored the black night orange.

Neighbors heard a couple booms. One woman said she could smell the smoke as far north as Deer Creek.

With the building unsavable, firefighters focused on saving surrounding buildings, including Lago Azul, a Salvadoran restaurant just north of the Croy Street Exchange, a gas station and the nearby liquor store.

Fortunately, the fire didn’t reach the Chevron Station.

Firefighters poured gallons upon gallons on the fire, continuing to wet it down until 11 a.m.

The heat from the fire cracked windows in the new Advocates building across the street, melted the vinyl siding on a house across the street and cracked windows and melted the plastic on a van and two cars across the street.

Nearby Lago Azul received a little smoke damage and a little exterior damage but the inside was preserved as was the mural on the wall facing the Croy Street Exchange.

“I told them they could reopen today,” Baledge said Tuesday afternoon, “But they decided to take off a day and reopen on Wednesday.”

Lago Azul miraculously received little damage.

The building, which is owned by longtime valley resident Michelle Stennett who could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, did not appear to have historical significance despite its turn-of-the-century look with a cupola on top and a balcony above the entrance.

It housed Copy and Print, Paul Stoops’ engineering studio, the Blaine County Democrats headquarters, even The Weekly Sun offices over the years. Stennett announced in December she was turning it into workforce housing.

Because it was valued at more than a million dollars, officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms joined the Idaho State Fire Marshal in the investigation.

The Advocates’ building and others across the street had broken windows and melted vinyl.






~  Today's Topics ~

Preserving History at One Mile Per Hour

Swiftsure Derby to Raise Funds for Therapy Steeds

Spur Community Foundation Spurs on Nonprofits with Gifts









Advertising /Marketing /Public Relations
Inquiries Contact:

Leisa Hollister
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
(208) 450-9993
Got a story? Contact:
Karen Bossick
Editor in Chief
(208) 578-2111
Website problems? Contact:
Michael Hobbs
ABOUT US is the largest online daily news media service in The Wood River Valley, publishing 7 days a week. Our website publication features current news articles, feature stories, local sports articles and video content articles. The Eye On Sun Valley Show is a weekly primetime television show focusing on highlighted news stories of the week airing Monday-Sunday, COX Channel 13. See our interactive Kiosks around town throughout the Wood River Valley!
P: 208.720.8212
P.O. Box 1453 Ketchum, ID  83340

© Copyright 2021 Eye on Sun Valley