Family flees Central house fire; major damage occurs

A fire in Central Monday morning caused extensive damage to a home, Central, Utah, Oct. 5, 2015 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

CENTRAL – A family of five narrowly escaped a house fire Monday morning in Central, and officials say quick thinking kept things from being much worse.

Angela Neumann said she was in her home with her mother, daughter, son and granddaughter when the fire started.

A fire in Central Monday morning caused extensive damage to a home, Central, Utah, Oct. 5, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Steve Haluska, St. George News
A fire in Central Monday morning caused extensive damage to a home, Central, Utah, Oct. 5, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Steve Haluska, St. George News

“We were just making breakfast and the oven started smoking, and progressively got worse,” Neumann said. “My daughter was like ‘We need to call 911,’ so we did, thank goodness.”

Everyone got out of the house quickly, including Neumann’s elderly mother – who Neumann said is a little stressed.

The fire started on the main floor in a kitchen cabinet with a with a built-in stove, Central Fire Department Capt. Steve Haluska said.

“It appears that there was possibly an electrical outlet failure, a short, which started the cabinetry that the stove was in (on fire),” Haluska said. “And the whole structure the stove was built into caught on fire.”

Neumann moved from Hawaii to her home in Central just five months ago.

“I’m surprised living in such a remote area how fast the response was,” she said. “And they’re volunteers, and they did such an awesome job.”

The 911 call came in at 9:25 a.m., Haluska said, and two nearby sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene within five minutes. Haluska arrived next, 12 minutes after the initial call.

The house was not accessible when fire crews first arrived due to the large volume of smoke, Haluska said. Fans were placed at the front door and at the basement door for about five minutes, while crews applied water to the blaze through the kitchen window.

A fire in Central Monday morning caused extensive damage to a home, Central, Utah, Oct. 5, 2015 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News
A fire in Central Monday morning caused extensive damage to a home, Central, Utah, Oct. 5, 2015 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

Then, Haluska said, two teams of two firefighters took turns attacking the blaze.

“Once they got in and got the fire knocked down, they were able to remove all the burning debris,” he said. “After that, it was just a matter of getting the rest of the smoke out of the house.”

“We try not to put too much water in,” he said, “We don’t want to do too much damage to the floor of the main building or the ceiling of the basement.”

Haluska said he estimates the damage to the three-level log-cabin-style home to be  $30,000 to $50,000, from fire, smoke and water damage.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Units from the Veyo, Brookside, Central and Pine Valley fire departments responded to the blaze, along with Enterprise Ambulance.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: japplegate@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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1 Comment

  • knobe October 6, 2015 at 9:16 am

    I know a lady who remodeled her kitchen with beautiful cabinets , granite and high end appliances .
    Unfortunately she Skipped upgrading the electrical to support the heavier draw of the extra appliances .
    Every time someone tries to make toast at the same time any other device is being used , the circuits overload and trip out .
    She now has blenders , coffee grinders & a wide range of other gadgets and appliances that can only be used one at a time .

    I don’t know what the issue was in this particular case but I do know of places that are fire hazards waiting to happen because people only think of the appearance and neglect the Most important aspects !

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