Firefighters battle 20 acre blaze in hills above Federal Heights; neighbors say fireworks started it


FEDERAL HEIGHTS, Utah, July 6, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Residents in Federal Heights and the Upper Avenues received quite a scare early Friday morning after fire broke out in the foothills above their homes, just north of Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Firefighters were called to the area about 1:33 a.m. after receiving multiple reports of heavy smoke in the Federal Heights area. When crews arrived they found a hillside engulfed in flames.

Forty-eight firefighters attacked the fast-moving blaze, taking up positions above and below the fire before it could reach nearby structures, including nearby homes and several utility poles.

After 30 minutes, firefighters managed to knock down the flames. A half an hour later, the fire was completely under control.

Investigators were working to determine the cause of the 3-alarm fire, but witnesses told firefighters they saw and heard fireworks in the area prior to the fire breaking out.

Audra Sorensen, Public Information Officer for the Salt Lake City Fire Department, praised firefighters efforts, saying their quick response and intensive training likely prevented disaster.

“We have great firefighters,” Sorenson said. “They knocked this down so quickly. It’s overwhelming to see how good of a job our firefighters do. We have terrible conditions right now. This could have been a disaster.”

The fire burned an estimated 20 acres before being snuffed out.

There were no reports of injuries or property damage.

Firefighters and members of the Department of Natural Resources remained on site throughout the night mopping up hot spots.

Gephardt Daily will update the story as more information becomes available.

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