FRANCIS, Utah, Dec. 13, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) — A family of seven was displaced Sunday evening after a raging fire destroyed its home in Francis, outside Park City.
According to Park City Fire Department spokesperson Casey Vorwaller, the homeowners were home having dinner with missionaries just before 5 p.m. when they heard popping sounds coming from the attic.
“The kids were actually outside playing with a helicopter and were looking up at the roof when their father looked at them out the window, trying to identify the noise,” Vorwaller said. “At the same time, a neighbor noticed flames coming from the roof, and came running over to let them know their house was on fire.”
Vorwaller said no smoke alarms had gone off because the smoke was above them, in the attic.
“While we are not certain yet, it appears the fire may have started in the chimney,” Vorwaller said. “The homeowner said he had actually been using the chimney when the fire started.”
The family was able to remove few belongings before the flames engulfed the rest of the house.
The 5,000-square-foot home, built in 2007, is owned by Ron and Amy Eastin. They have five children, ranging in age from 3 to 12. All escaped without injury.
The fire took several hours to contain, and the house has been declared a total loss. A GoFundMe account has been set up for anyone wishing to help the family.
Vorwaller said fire officials see a lot of chimney fires this time of year, and residents should make sure they clean out their flues annually to remove the creasote buildup.
According to highschimney.com, creosote looks like a tar coating running down the inside of the chimney. It is a highly concentrated fuel. It can get very thick as it hardens, and can build up inside the chimney each time the fireplace is used.
For more information on the dangers of creosote and chimney fires, visit highschimney.com.