Late-night fire destroys Ivins home

Aftermath of a house fire at 580 South and 200 East, Ivins, Utah, Jan. 31, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

IVINS – A fire thought extinguished raged anew in Ivins early Saturday morning and destroyed a home, displacing the home’s residents.

Just after 2 p.m. Friday, the Ivins Fire Department responded to a report of a kitchen fire at a home on the corner of 200 East and 580 South, across the street from the Lightfoot’s Chevron gas station.

Aftermath of a house fire at 580 South and 200 East, Ivins, Utah, Jan. 30, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Aftermath of a house fire at 580 South and 200 East, Ivins, Utah, Jan. 31, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Homeowner Jesse Gill said he was asleep downstairs when he heard the stove in the kitchen beeping, indicating something was done cooking. He said he figured a family member was cooking, but the smell coming from the kitchen didn’t seem right to him. He went to investigate and was greeted by a large amount of smoke.

Gill told his family to get out of the house while he took a hose to the fire.

Soon after, firefighters arrived to help extinguish the kitchen fire. Once they were satisfied the fire was completely out and the situation mopped up, the firefighters left the scene. The blaze damaged the area around the stove but little more at the time, Gill said.

“That was it. Nothing else was damaged,” he said.

Gill said he believed the ordeal was over until a family member spotted smoke coming from the roof late Friday, sometime between 10 p.m. and midnight.

The Ivins Fire Department was called back to the home at about 12:45 a.m., Ivins Fire Chief Randy Hansey said.

It was discovered that part of the original kitchen fire had made it into the attic and flared up again. The fire spread through the attic and the upper levels of the home, Hansey said.

Ivins Fire units, along with assisting units from Santa Clara and St. George, battled the blaze as best they could, but the home was ultimately consumed. In the aftermath of the fire, entire sections of the roof are gone, leaving the torched interior open to the elements.

“Everything is pretty well destroyed,” Hansey said.

Aftermath of a house fire at 580 South and 200 East, Ivins, Utah, Jan. 30, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Aftermath of a house fire at 580 South and 200 East, Ivins, Utah, Jan. 31, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The structure of the home presented a challenge to the firefighters, Hansey added. The home has been remodeled and added to a few times, leaving pockets of “void space” inside. These spaces can be created during interior structure remodels and aren’t always easily accessible. Hidden fires can take root in the spaces and go unnoticed, as may have been the case with this fire.

Having to hack through a number of void spaces to get to a fire in a home can also slow firefighting efforts a great deal.

“That had a lot to do with it,” Hansey said. “There were several void spaces.”

Firefighters were at the scene of the fire the second time until between approximately 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. Saturday morning.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fire, Hansey said. One of the home’s residents said the family’s dogs were also safe and being kept at a shelter for the time being.

Though displaced, Gill said, his family has been able to stay at a motel. The motel is being paid for by homeowner’s insurance.

The American Red Cross of Southern Utah is helping the family in the wake of the fire and is coordinating with the insurance company, Gill said.

According to the Red Cross’ Facebook page, eight adults and two children were displaced by the fire.

“Our works not done yet, we’ll continue to work with the family with follow-up case work in the coming weeks to guide and direct in their recovery needs,” a post on the Red Cross Facebook page said.

The cause of the second fire remains under investigation.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • LunchboxHero February 1, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Oh no! Sorry this happened, but glad that they had insurance. Best of luck to Mr. Gill.

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