Fire destroyed a large log structure at developer Marshall Chesrown’s Black Rock Ranch near Harrison on the east side of Lake Coeur d’Alene Sunday.
St. Maries Fire Chief Larry Naccarato said the fire at the horse ranch on South Anderson Lake Road started about 11:30 a.m. Naccarato said the estimated 4,000- to 6,000-square-foot building was uninhabited, but was set up for living. The fire didn’t affect any of the horses at the ranch.
The cause of the fire wasn’t determined Sunday. Naccarato said crews were mopping up the mess late Sunday, and the remnants were too hot to start investigating the cause.
Black Rock Ranch is on the opposite side of Lake Coeur d’Alene from Chesrown’s upscale residential community, The Club at Black Rock.
Chesrown has become one of the most prominent developers in Spokane and North Idaho areas in recent years. In January, he bought 77 acres of land on the north bank of the Spokane river, east of Monroe Street, as a site for homes and retail outlets.
All calls to Black Rock Ranch on Sunday were referred to a Spokane public relations firm, the Gallatin Group. Calls to the Gallatin Group were not returned Sunday. According to the Black Rock Ranch Web site, the ranch includes a heated indoor riding arena, an outdoor arena, covered pens, state-of-the-art facilities and miles of mountain trails.
Crews from Kootenai County, Shoshone County, Fernwood Fire and the Idaho Department of Lands helped firefighters from St. Maries battle the fire Sunday at Black Rock Ranch.
Naccarato said the real estate boom around Lake Coeur d’Alene has become a burden on small, rural fire districts like St. Maries. Luxury homes, some without sprinklers, are being built in areas that don’t have the fire protection to serve them, he said.
“These big homes are too much for the local responders,” he said. “We have limited resources. We have limited equipment.”
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