Fire agencies from throughout the area - including 25 firefighters - responded to the blaze, which witnesses said started around 2:45 a.m. Residents even tried to help firefighters by running garden hoses on the flames. Officials said the fire broke out at Calamity Jaynes, a popular Main Street restaurant, and spread to the Idaho City Trading Post, the Sarsparilla Ice Cream Parlor, Old Time Photo, Main Street Floral and Candle Shop and a vacant business. No one was injured in the blaze. The majority of the fire had been extinguished by sunrise.
The popular tourist destination was just beginning to ramp up its summer season and the fire is expected to deal a serious blow to the local economy. Idaho City's roots date back to the mid-19th century when a gold rush triggered a huge influx of miners. In the mid-1860s there were more than 200 businesses serving the burgeoning population. In 1864, there were approximately 7,000 residents in Idaho City. Today, there are about 210 households in Idaho City, representing approximately 485 residents.