The funny thing about practice is that you never know when it'll pay off. It may be 50 years from now before you finally have occasion to use that fancy CPR certification you Frenched some dummy in order to get. Ditto for the knife-throwing classes you barely passed at Albertson College (the author's alma mater) back in aught-one. But sometimes, as in the case of the Boise police and fire departments' joint incident response practice session last Wednesday, your practice may be put to the test far sooner than you wish.
Last Friday, someone called the Ada County Sheriff's Office and left a message that, according to Boise Police Capt. Eugene Smith, "indicated that Boise police should get ready for a busy day, and they should have cadaver dogs." Two hours later, another caller reported a fire in a Southeast Boise neighborhood on Hisel Street.
Smith said officers suspect that the same person made both calls, and they suspect the home's owner, 38-year-old Todd Hagnas, to be that person. Hagnas was sitting on a porch swing in front of the burning home when police arrived on Friday, and he reportedly tried to stop them from approaching the house. Police took Hagnas into custody, and over the ensuing four days, they and a small army of investigators from the fire department, Idaho State Police and Ada County Coroner's Office have seemingly left the house only to grab a few hours of shut-eye. True to the phone message, investigators recovered two bodies in "various stages of decomposition." Further investigation on the bodies will be conducted by the Ada County Coroner with the assistance of Boise Police Detectives. Officers are also trying to verify the whereabouts of any of the suspect's former housemates. Call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS if you know anything.