Fire Causes Extensive Damage to IOBT Basement

A fire on July 8 caused extensive damage to the basement of the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple — but didn’t postpone plans two days later for what turned out to be a moving and memorable Obon service.

The apparent cause was a faulty electrical outlet, according to IOBT Co-President Mike Iseri.

“My first thoughts were being thankful that outward appearances showed the fire started in the basement and not upstairs,” Iseri said. “I did have a fear for the Nokotsudo, but it is at the opposite end of the building.”

The upstairs Hondo, Onaijin and Nokotsudo suffered smoke damage, but were otherwise spared.

Iseri said the temple’s burglar alarm prompted a call at about 7:40 a.m. July 8. The fire alarm system uses motion sensors and it apparently picked up smoke movement. </