Update: West Jordan 3-alarm fire causes $100K in damage; RVs, motorhomes destroyed

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

WEST JORDAN, Utah, Sept. 5, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Investigators are working to determine the cause of a three-alarm fire in West Jordan Sunday which caused an estimated $100K in damage to RVs, trailers, mobile homes and other recreational vehicles parked behind a fenced-in property near 8450 S. 2700 West.

First responders were dispatched about 4:25 a.m. after 911 operators received multiple calls of explosions and a possible garage fire. One distressed caller said they thought their neighbor’s house had exploded, adding that her own home was shaken by the blast.

When crews arrived, they were met by walls of flame and billowing smoke. In addition to the RVs and other vehicles that were burning, an attached work shed and out building were also on fire, with flames approaching the adjacent home.

Fire commanders made the decision call a second, and eventually third alarm, bringing in a total of 36 firefighters to battle the blaze. Twenty-four were pressed into action, while a dozen more staged in reserve.

As firefighters began attacking the blaze, they shared concerns, along with police, about a random series of explosions they thought were being caused by propane and oxygen tanks which were seen on the property.

Despite the perceived threat, fire crews held their ground and continued to pour water on the flames while assuming a defensive posture to keep the fire from spreading.

“We were dispatched out at about 4:30 a.m. and the fire was knocked down at about 5 a.m.,” West Jordan Battalion Chief Clint Paxton told Gephardt Daily. “We’ve were able to get to the hotspots, get them out, and so, by about 10 a.m., we had left the scene.

“No firefighters were hurt,” Paxton said, although someone who lived in the house received minor burns to their hands trying to douse the fire with a garden hose. “We bandaged them up, but they refused to go to the hospital to be checked out.”

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

When asked about the source of the explosions, and the prospect they were caused by propane or oxygen tanks, Paxton said evidence at the scene suggested the blasts were the result of tires blowing on multiple vehicle as they caught fire.

“There were some explosions, and a lot of times with vehicle fires, the tires pop, and when the tires pop, they sound like an explosion,” Paxton explained. “I did see some propane tanks, but not any that had exploded. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any, but I did see a lot of tires that were burned out and probably, most likely, popped.”

Photo:Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

Agencies from across the Salt Lake Valley joined in the Sunday morning firefighting effort, including West Jordan Fire, South Jordan Fire, Unified Fire Authority, Sandy Fire and Murray FD. Salt Lake City firefighters didn’t fight the fire directly, Paxton said, but helped cover the West Jordan area while WJFD’s resources were tied up.

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

Salt Lake City firefighters covered West Jordan, and while they didn’t fight the fire directly, Paxton said, they helped cover the West Jordan area while WJFD was tied up.

West Jordan Police Sgt. Brian Schaaf told Gephardt Daily investigators weren’t sure if anyone was currently living in the motor homes on the north edge of the property, but said
there are indications that people had lived in them at some point.

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

 

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