Firefighter injured when garage door drops during fire

ST. GEORGE – A fire on Lava Point Drive consumed one-third of a home and injured a firefighter before being extinguished early Monday afternoon.

Around 11:50 a.m., the St. George Fire Department was alerted to the presence of a fire at 698 Lava Point Drive. The first responder on the scene was a St. George Police officer who reported seeing heavy smoke coming from the house, St. George Fire Battalion Chief Ken Guard said.

A St. George firefighter was injured when a garage door came down on him during a house fire on Lave Point Drive in St George, Utah, Sept. 19,2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George
A St. George firefighter was injured when a garage door came down on him during a house fire on Lava Point Drive in St George, Utah, Sept. 19, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George

When fire crews arrived, they entered the home and encountered light-to-medium gray smoke inside the house, primarily in the family room and kitchen areas.

However, as they investigated the scene and zeroed in on the origin of the smoke, the firefighters came across heavier smoke in the garage where the fire was burning in the attic above.

“(Fire) crews then pulled ceilings and extinguished the fire from that point,” Guard said.

While dealing with the fire, the garage door came down on one of the firefighters, Guard said.

“We had substantial damage to the garage area,” Guard said. “We had a failure of a couple trusses and the garage area and the garage door came down, striking one of the crew that was inside the garage fighting the fire.”

The firefighter sustained possible neck and back injuries and was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center.

Once the injured firefighter was taken from the scene fire crews resumed their attack and subsequently put out the fire.

The fire claimed about a third of the house and did some major damage to the garage, particularly the ceiling and roof, part of which no longer exist due to being consumed. In addition to the damaged garage, there is also some damage to the family room and kitchen areas, Guard said.

Despite the damage – which is estimated at around $100,000 – the home is salvageable, Guard said.

A St. George firefighter was injured when a garage door came down on him during a house fire on Lave Point Drive in St George, Utah, Sept. 19,2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George
A St. George firefighter was injured when a garage door came down on him during a house fire on Lava Point Drive in St George, Utah, Sept. 19, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George

The fire appears to have its origins in a garbage can kept outside. Neighbors said they heard a small explosion or loud bang prior to the fire.

Some aerosol cans left in the garbage can may have played a part in the fire, but as the investigation is ongoing Guard said he was unable to verify the actual cause of the fire for now.

A woman and five pet cats were in the home when the fire started. All were accounted for and unharmed during the incident.

Responding to the fire were 36 firefighters who were accompanied by six fire engines and one ladder truck, Guard said.

St. George Police officers were also on hand to help with traffic control, as were medics with Gold Cross Ambulance.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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