NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah, Nov. 12, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Fire crews battled a blaze that began with one house and quickly spread to a neighboring home late Sunday afternoon.
South Davis Metro Fire Chief Jeff Bassett said the 911 call came in at 4:50 p.m., reporting a structure fire in a shed behind a house at 877 Cambridge Drive.
“As firefighters were responding, they could see a large column of black smoke,” Bassett said. “Obviously, by the amount of smoke, they determined this was probably a house, not a shed, so they requested a second alarm.”
About 30 firefighters were at the scene, Bassett said, and when the units arrived, they could see two houses on fire.
The first house, where the fire started, has the most significant damage, he said, but both homes are now uninhabitable.
“The fire started in the back of the house and worked its way forward,” he said. “The second house is just from radiant heat — the heat and flames coming off the first house started the second home on fire.”
Although the homes cannot be lived in, Bassett said none of the residents need assistance from the Red Cross.
“They have a lot of family and a lot of friends supporting them right now,” he said.
Bassett said everyone got out of the houses safely and there were no injuries to any residents or firefighters.
Investigators are on scene and will be working late into Sunday night to determine what started the fire and how much damage there is. Bassett said he doesn’t anticipate having any information on the cost of the fire or the cause until sometime Monday.
Foul play is not considered to be a factor.
“Seems like something ignited the shed in the backyard,” he said. “It was fast-moving. Hard to say what’s inside the shed, but they typically have a lot of gasoline, a lot of fuel, probably a lot of accelerants just in storage. There’s nothing suspicious at this time.”
He said it took about an hour to get the fire under control — “a pretty good knockdown for two houses.”
Bassett emphasized the importance of calling 911 the minute you know there’s a fire.
“The thing to remember is that fire spreads really fast,” he said. “So call immediately, so firefighters can get to the scene as soon as possible.”
Amy Byrd, who lives across the street from the homes that burned, said she was sitting at her bedroom window and saw the flames coming through the top of the house.
“The homeowners were already outside, and the flames just started and went super-fast,” Byrd said.
“My first reaction was that I saw them outside and knew they were OK. My next worry was for the dogs. Then they brought their dogs around.”
“The biggest thing that hit me, about half an hour ago,” she said, “was this is too close to home. This was scary. Makes you grateful for what you have, and how easy something like this could just take everything you have.
“It’s the lives that matter. My neighbor two houses down from them — their house has slight damage — all she was worried about was her dogs. She’s like, ‘I don’t care, the things could be replaced. It’s the people and the lives that matter.'”
Byrd praised the firefighters for responding so quickly.
“They were so on top of it. I’m so grateful for them and thankful that they do that job every day. I’m just glad everybody’s OK.”