IVINS – The Ivin’s residential fire at 110 North Park Avenue Way Sunday left Ron Zimmerman’s home unsalvageable.
“The home is pretty much a total loss,” Ivins Fire Chief Randy Hancey said. Hancey happened to be in church adjacent to the residential fire as it started. He was on scene even before the emergency personnel were even notified of the fire, he said.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation but fire personnel are guessing it started in the gas fireplace, which was running at the time Zimmerman said he realized there was a fire.
Zimmerman said he thought the fire was electrical.
He was home alone watching a football game in his living room when the TV unexpectedly turned off, Zimmerman said. He heard unusual noises. The TV was dead and would not turn back on, he said. He checked the circuit breakers but the TV still wouldn’t turn on so he moved in to his guest room where the TV worked and watched the game from the bed.
He watched TV for approximately another 15-20 minutes before that TV unexpectedly turned off and he started hearing more unusual noises from a different section of the house he said. He went out to the living room and was talking on the phone. This was when he realized his house might be on fire.
“All of a sudden I see smoke behind me,” Zimmerman said. He went out the back door and saw more smoke. He came through the house and out the front door.
Some people who were on the road had already called the fire department, he said. Zimmerman got his car out of the garage, but left medication for his diabetes in the refrigerator.
Once the fire department arrived they tried to send a crew inside the house, but the ceiling immediately started to collapse and it was determined that it was unsafe to fight the fire from the inside.
So, they took a defensive attack, Hancey said, from the outside. The fire got into the trusses of the home and flames could be seen from the roof.
Although fire fighters were able to put most of the fire out from the back of the home, the fire moved to the front of the home.
“We had a hard time getting to it from the front,” Hancey said.
Fire fighters sprayed two master streams that put about 350 gallons a minute of water on it, Hancey said.
The Ivins City Fire and Rescue served as the primary responder with Santa Clara Fire Department giving assist and St. George Fire Department responding to give backup in the final stages of the fire.
At about 4:20 p.m., the fire appeared to be mostly out, with just a little smoke still streaming off the roof. Fire fighters would be working for another 2-3 hours, Hancey said, to make sure the home was safe.
Over half of the roof was collapsed by the end of the fire.
“Some of the exterior walls are salvageable but all the roof trusses are damaged,” Hancey said. A lot of the interior walls were also collapsed, he said.
Zimmerman, a Pennsylvania resident who has this as a second home in Ivins, sat in his car from the adjacent church parking lot and watched the fire. Once the fire was out, paramedics brought his medication out to him and he walked around the property inspecting the damage.
The fire department has been able to salvage some of his possessions, a few paintings and a flat screen TV among other things. They are also trying to help him find a place to stay, Hancey said.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.