ST. GEORGE – A home in a neighborhood off River Road, northeast of Fort Pierce Drive in St. George, burned Sunday morning for the second time this year – a fire the St. George fire chief said was definitely human-caused.
St. George Fire Department and other responders were dispatched to the home at 1430 E. 1850 South around 6:30 a.m., Fire Chief Robert Stoker said. They found the home that had been damaged in a March 2017 fire was on fire again, with heavy smoke coming out of the vents and windows.
“There’s no utilities to the building,” Stoker said. “They had been shut off from the damage due to the previous fire. It appears the occupants may have been living back here again, in the home.”
The heavy smoke was followed quickly by flames in the master bedroom on the second level just after firefighters arrived.
One occupant of the house was initially accounted for, but two others who were reported to be in the home at the time could not be immediately found. A short time later, those two showed up on scene safe.
“We’re looking into the cause,” Stoker said. “There’s no utilities to the home, so power and water had been shut off …. definitely human-caused.”
Sunday’s fire occurred on the opposite side from the previous fire, Stoker said.
“The damage from the fire a few months ago was on the west side of the home in some bedrooms, this fire was on the east side of the home; but (the home) is a total loss at this point.”
Stoker said the home will be demolished.
“In talking to another son of the owner,” Stoker said, “they have been working on trying to get a demolition permit, which they do have now from the city, sounds like, and they will be here first thing Monday morning to tear down the structure.”
Neighbor Shelly Clark lives across the street from the burned home.
“I looked outside, because I saw the lights and I thought they were tearing down the house, because that’s what I heard they were going to do,” Clark said. “Then I noticed the Fire Department everywhere and saw the smoke coming out.”
The fire was brought under control and firefighters started leaving around 9 a.m. Stoker said several engines, a heavy rescue unit, the city’s new ladder truck and about 25-30 firefighters were on scene to help knock the fire down. No injuries were reported to residents or firefighters.
Units from the St. George Fire and Police departments responded to the scene along with a unit from Gold Cross Ambulance standing by.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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