$100k in damage to West Valley City home when basement fire won’t die

Crews were battling an extremely persistent fire that started in a basement room at 5540 W. 4260 South, in West Valley City, on Tuesday night, Jan. 30, 2018. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, Jan. 31, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Crews were battling an extremely persistent fire Tuesday night in a basement room at 5540 W. 4260 South.

Battalion Chief Jeff Fox, with the West Valley City Fire Department, said firefighters arrived at about 9:24 p.m. to find the home’s front door open and heavy black smoke pouring out.

“As I did my 360 around the structure, we had what appeared to be a basement fire,” Fox told Gephardt Daily.

He said crews moved in and knocked it down from the outside, then made entry through the front door.

When they got down into the basement, though, “there were so many hallways and turns and twists, it took awhile to get down there, and the fire had kind of re-ignited in the room of origin,” Fox said.

Not only had the fire re-ignited, the heat and flames had weakened the floor above.

Fox said the furniture in that area of the main floor was fairly heavy and the floor was starting to collapse into the basement. It wasn’t safe for crews to try to get into what Fox called “the fire room.”

They had to knock it down from outside and farther away than they wanted to.

Fox said they thought the fire was extinguished, but as the investigator was getting ready to look things over, “a little bit of fire got going, and a couple gusts of wind, and it took off again.”

Crews went back to work knocking it down again, until they were sure it was out.

No one was in the home, and no pets were involved, so there were no injuries to anyone. The damage was extensive, though, and the home is not habitable.

The first time the fire was put out, the floor above had some holes and was sagging. When it started up again, Fox said, some of the furniture started to fall through into the basement.

With all the smoke throughout the home, the collapsed floor, the water, and the extensive fire damage downstairs, Fox estimated it came to “at least $100,000 in damage.”


  1. Sad. Glad no one was home at the time. It makes you stop to realize what’s really important in life. The outcome could have been much worse.

  2. No, it’s only been on fire once. They got it out and then it picked back up again.
    Josh — if you see this, please let me know if there’s anything I can do or bring or help with.

    Nevermind — I’ll just message you.


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