Neighbors worry neighborhood could go up in flames

Neighbors worry neighborhood could go up in flames »Play Video

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- People in one Boise neighborhood worry their homes are at risk because some nearby high grass that isn't being maintained could easily catch fire.

KBOI 2News got the tip from a viewer who emailed the newsroom. Rita Montgomery said she called the City of Boise's Code Enforcement office about two weeks ago and complained about the five foot tall weeds near her house, but nothing has been done.

"I don't want it to go up in a big fire," Montgomery said about the unkempt area.

The grass surrounds railroad tracks at the edge of her neighborhood near the Overland Road railroad crossing. She and her neighbors worry it could go up in flames with a spark from fireworks, a cigarette or even a train going down the tracks.

"It's been a couple of years since it's been trimmed," Montgomery told KBOI. "Last year we had a fire down on the corner and it ruined their fence and a bunch of things, and a couple of years ago there was a fire on down a ways, and I just am concerned."

KBOI called the City of Boise to find out why the area hadn't been taken care of after Montgomery's complaint. A spokeswoman said the Code Enforcement office has gotten multiple calls from people who are concerned that the grass near railroad tracks is too high in several parts of Boise, but the spokeswoman said there's nothing the city can do about it because any land around the railroad tracks is Boise Valley Railroad's responsibility.

The Code Enforcement office says it passes the complaints on to the railroad company. KBOI called Boise Valley Railroad's parent company, Watco, and asked if it had received them, but a spokesman said he wouldn't answer that. He refused to give an interview or statement, and when told about Montgomery's concerns, he only said the company would get to clearing that area out eventually.

As the heat of summer rolls in, Montgomery hopes that happens sooner rather than later.

"it was okay while it was green but now it's gotten so dry, and with the fourth i'm really concerned," Montgomery said. "There's a lot of fireworks that go on in the neighborhood and I would hate to see it catch fire."

When KBOI asked the representative with Boise Valley Railroad if the company would get to Montgomery's neighborhood anytime soon, he said he couldn't comment.