SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 1, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City firefighters responded to a blaze in a single apartment of a large complex in the area of 1800 S. Main St. on Thursday evening.
Capt. Tony Stowe, Salt Lake City Fire Department, told reporters at the scene the call came in at about 6 p.m.
“Early reports came in of smoke and flames, we have some access issues here because it’s so deep into this apartment complex, it took us a little bit to get in there,” Stowe said. “We were able to utilize the standpipe system on this structure, and deployed lines into it.”
A standpipe is a type of rigid water piping sometimes built into multi-story buildings in a vertical position.
“We do have the fire out at this time, and we’re just working on some overhaul inside there, looking for hot spots. We’ll still be inside that apartment a little bit longer,” Stowe said at about 6:40 p.m.
Three firefighters and one resident were treated on scene, he said. The resident was treated for smoke inhalation, and the firefighters were treated for heat exposure.
“It’s very hot outside, we’ve had to go up four stories on this deploying the hose,” he said of the firefighters. “It’s in the lower 90s, and you add to that the aggressive type of work,” adding that the protective gear worn by firefighters is heavy and does not allow for any sweat evaporation or body cooling.
Residents of nearby apartments, including those above and below, were evacuated, Stowe said, noting the horseshoe-shaped construction at the site.
“We’re still working on kind of keeping the area clear,” he said.
The fire became a three-alarm due to the people power needed to fight the blaze, along with evacuation assistance and crowd control. Both evacuees and curious bystanders crowded the area.
Stowe said one crews got water on the fire, which was confined to one apartment, the blaze was knocked down quickly. He said it is not yet known how many additional apartments may be uninhabitable due to water damage or lack of electricity, or other factors.
Gephardt Daily will have more information on this developing story as details are released.