Landlord of rental property speaks about Orofino house fire

OROFINO, ID - A tragic house fire that took the lives of five people and two dogs in Orofino has left a small community coming to grips with grief.

KLEW News spoke with the owner of the house that burned and we learned that he too is dealing with the loss of life in the home he owns.

It's been five days since a tragic house fire claimed the lives of five people while they were sleeping in the small town of Orofino. And locals are still grappling with the loss of their neighbors. Clearwater County Coroner Will Rambeau confirmed on Tuesday that the three teens and two adults died from carbon monoxide poisoning, a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that goes undetected by smoke detectors. Patrick Graber who owns the property said he was close with the renters who fell victim to the fire.

"Allen and Rosie were great renters," said Graber. "They loved the house and actually we were in the process of negotiating a rent-to-own."

Graber said he checked the smoke detectors in September to make sure they were fully functioning and an insurance investigator confirmed that there were two in the home.

"I did everything I could to prevent something like that from happening," said Graber. "Allen had actually cleared a bunch of debris off the roof and done some other things to prevent something like that from happening."

The house has been fenced off and boarded up. However, Graber said they plan to bulldoze it down as soon as possible, out of respect for the families.

"It was my property but it was just a house, just a structure," said Graber.

Idaho is one of 25 states that has no statutes in place, requiring carbon monoxide detectors in certain residential buildings.

"I was friends with Allen," said Graber. "I didn't know Rosie all that well. But my heart goes out to the families that are having to deal with such a tragic loss."

This Saturday the first funeral for one of the five victims is being held in Orofino.