Home occupants displaced after attic fire

ST. GEORGE – An attic fire displaced the occupants of a home in downtown St. George Tuesday morning.

At approximately 7 a.m., the St. George Communications Center received a 911 call from the occupants of a home at 79 West 500 S.

Firefighters wrap up fire operations after putting out an attic fire at 79 West 500 S. in downtown St. George. The incident has displaced the home’s occupants due to the power being shut off in the wake of the fire, Utah, March 7, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The caller reported having previously smelled smoke somewhere in the house, yet they waited to call until an hour later when they started to see smoke coming from an attic vent, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said.

Firefighters arrived on scene and found a small fire in the attic in the rear portion of the home between two bedrooms, Stoker said. They attacked the fire from the outside, as well as the inside. Fire crews had to go into the home and tear down a part of the ceiling to get to the fire.

The fire was contained to the attic and damaged three or four structured trusses, Stoker said. The home also sustained some smoke damage and debris from where the ceiling was knocked down.

Some electrical wiring was also burned through. Whether this was the cause of the fire or not in unknown, Stoker said. This also led to power being cut off to the house for the time being.

“Right now there is no power to the home, so (the occupants) will need to find some place to go,” Stoker said.

The cause of the fire appears to be accidental and is under investigation. A preliminary estimate sets damages between $8,000-$10,000.

Firefighters wrap up fire operations after putting out an attic fire at 79 West 500 S. in downtown St. George. The incident has displaced the home’s occupants due to the power being shut off in the wake of the fire, Utah, March 7, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

No one was injured in connection with the fire.

The St. George Fire Department tends to get quite a few calls this time of year related to air conditioner and heater units due to wiring and motor problems, Stoker said. Those issues can create a burning or smoking smell that isn’t always easy to pinpoint in a home.

If that happens, Stoker said, it’s better to call the Fire Department with a question versus the alternative. It could save your house.

“If you have any type of odors, please give us a call,” Stoker said. “We have people delaying calls a lot of the time because they don’t know where (the smell) is at. We’d rather it be something small than a structure fire.”

St. George Police officers were on hand to block the street off near the fire, while Gold Cross Ambulance had a rig on standby during fire operations.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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