SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 8, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A five-alarm blaze near Salt Lake City International Airport Friday afternoon has been contained.
Salt Lake City Fire Department spokesman Captain Mark Bednarik said at 12:06 p.m., crews responded to the fire that originated in a commercial yard at Rio’s Auto Recycling, located at 4385 W. 700 South.
The fire began as a worker at Rio’s Auto Recycling had been cutting pallets, which produced small sparks. The worker thought he had extinguished all small fires from the sparks and went to lunch. When he returned, he found an active fire. He could not extinguish the fire, and called 911.
The commercial yard is approximately nine acres, and contained wood pallets, old cars, car parts, propane tanks and empty oil drums with residue. There was active fire in approximately half of the commercial yard as crews arrived on scene.
Due to the wind, the fire extended into the large field north of the commercial yard, across 700 South. The fire there burned approximately 50 acres.
Incident command determined that crews needed to contain the fire so that it did not extend south of the commercial yard, east of 3800 West, north of I-80, and west of 5600 West. Another objective was to protect the electrical power substation, located near 4600 West and 700 South.
As crews fought the fire in the commercial yard several explosions took place around them.
Due to the high temperatures, the grass was very dry which contributed to the fire spreading rapidly.
One firefighter suffered minor heat stroke. He was evaluated on scene and not transported to the hospital.
Crews are expected to be on scene for several more hours Friday evening to make sure the fire is completely extinguished in the commercial yard.
Rocky Mountain Power reported that approximately 2,118 customers lost power in the area of the fire, and power was restored to those customers just after 2:30 p.m.