WINCHESTER HILLS – A home in Winchester Hills was destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning.
The blaze was reported by a neighbor as a fully engulfed structure fire; firefighters were called out at 4:04 a.m., Winchester Hills Fire Chief Don Christensen said.
“By the time we got there, the roof was burning through,” he said. “So it had been going for a while.”
The house was unoccupied at the time of the fire, Christensen said, because the home’s owner died about two weeks ago.
“This is actually our first big structure fire in Winchester Hills, ever, in 30 years of the department’s existence,” Christensen said. “I guess we were due.”
But a fire in an unoccupied house is a best-case scenario, he said.
“If you have to have a fire, that’s the way you want it.”
The house, located at 5595 North 1070 West, was a total loss. Firefighters took a defensive approach to prevent the fire from spreading because the house was fully engulfed and no one was inside, Christensen said.
“‘Surround and drown’ is what we call it,” he said.
“You don’t want to go in, there’s no reason to go in because it’s all burning and it’s already been reported that it’s empty. (You) spread hoses around it, shoot water into it and get it knocked down; then mop up as you can.”
Damage was contained to the house and the cause of the fire is undetermined. Firefighters were at the scene until 8 a.m., Christensen said, and the fire was still being monitored as of 1:30 p.m.
“Those types of things, they smolder for quite a while,” he said.
Winchester Hills Fire Department responded to the fire with backup from St. George Fire Department Engine 27 and Diamond Valley Fire Department Engine 111, Christensen said. A total of about 16 firefighters were at the scene.
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