EMIGRATION CANYON, Utah, Feb. 24, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Neighbors who spotted billowing smoke in Emigration Canyon on Saturday morning summoned fire crews to the scene.
“At approximately 11:32 today, neighbors started calling in to our dispatch centers that they were noticing some smoke from the house,” said Eric Holmes, Unified Fire Authority spokesman. “This house has been vacant for a really long time, years and years.”
The fire was still active well into the afternoon since firefighters take a defensive strategy when homes are vacant. There’s no reason to risk firefighter’s lives, Holmes said, when there are no lives to save.
“There was nobody in the house when the fire started that we know about,” he said. “There’s been some reports that this might be kind of a squatter-type house, but there’s been no reports of injuries.”
The roadway was closed as of 2 p.m., and Holmes said he did not know if the fire would be knocked down in five minutes or five hours.
The house had a cinder block exterior with wood inside, the homeowner said. The blaze would burn for hours if allowed to consume the structure. If the roof caved in or more crews were brought in to knock down the structure, the fire would be out sooner, Holmes said.
Strategies were still being considered in the early afternoon, and it was unknown when roads would be open to drivers.
Crews responded from both Salt Lake City Fire Department and Unified, Holmes said.
“We rely on our neighbor to come and help us out when we need it, and vice versa when they need it,” he said. “lt’s nice to see that all the training pays off, and the mutual aid and all that kind of stuff. its great for everybody.”
Gephardt Daily will update this story as more information becomes available.