Cooking floor mats at church trigger firefighter response

St. George firefighters outside of the Father Kuzy Catholic Socal Hall at the St. George Catholic Church. Firefighters responded to the report of a possible fire that turned out to be some burning floor mats left on a stove, St. George, Utah, May 1, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The smell of smoke inside part of a social hall at a Catholic church had firefighters responding to a short-lived incident Monday morning.

At approximately 9:45 a.m., two fire engines and their crews from the St. George Fire Department were dispatched to the Father Kuzy Catholic Social Hall, located by the St. George Catholic Church at the corner of 200 West and 200 North.

The smell of smoke and something similar to burning rubber was filling a part of the building when they arrived, St. George Fire Battalion Chief Robert Hooper said.

There was no fire, however, and firefighters were able to stand down shortly after arriving at the scene.

Evidently, while a cleaning crew was going through the social hall, one of the workers had placed floor mats on top of a stove that she hadn’t realized had been turned on, Hooper said.

The woman took the mats off the stove and took them outside after they began to cook, yet she hadn’t informed others of the cause of the smoke and burning rubber smell at the time. This caused someone else on the cleaning crew to call 911 believing there was a possible fire.

Though the threat of fire was no longer present, firefighters stayed at the scene to help air out the social hall with fans.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by emergency responders at the scene and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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


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  • mmsandie May 1, 2017 at 11:54 am

    How stupid, a careless mistake but could have been worse..they should hire good help.

    • comments May 1, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      my guess: they’re unpaid volunteers

  • Who May 1, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Man,,, you are heartless!

  • Proud Rebel May 1, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    I’d like two floor mats, please. One well done, and one medium rare. 😀

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