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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

State fire marshal says washing machine failure caused Big Eddy fire

The remains of The Big Eddy Bar & Grill near Calder, Idaho, are pictured Monday. A fire destroyed the building early Friday.  (James Hanlon/The Spokesman-Review)

A household clothes washer caused the fire that destroyed The Big Eddy Bar & Grill last week outside Calder, Idaho, according to the Idaho State Fire Marshal’s Office Facebook page.

State fire marshal Knute Sandahl said there’s a “relatively strong indication” the computer components or wiring created a failure in the washing machine, which was located on the second floor of the building.

The inn and restaurant along the St. Joe River had just reopened a week prior under new owner Michael Harter. Harter said he was sleeping in one of the guest rooms above the restaurant when the fire started Friday.

The blaze completely destroyed the washing machine, so Sandahl said trying to identify the manufacturer and model number of the machine, as well as determine whether there were any recalls, will be difficult.

Harter has said he plans to rebuild, but it may take a few years.

“We owe it to the community,” he said.