Calls from freeway motorists help firefighters locate rooftop fire

The St. George Fire Department responded to multiple reports from motorists on I-15 of a rooftop fire, St. George, Utah, Feb. 5, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE –Multiple motorists on southbound Interstate 15 called 911 after seeing smoke coming from the roof of a St. George home.

The calls came in 2:45 p.m., sending firefighters into the area of the Morningside Park subdivision off 700 South, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said. At first, firefighters weren’t sure of the exact location of the fire, but thanks to the calls from passing motorists, they were able to narrow it down, he said.

Homeowner inspects the aftermath of a fire on the roof of his house in the Morningside Park subdivision, St. George, Utah, Feb. 5, 2018 | Photo by Michael Eggbert, St. George News

Firefighters converged on a home on Concord Drive that butted up against the freeway, Stoker said. The homeowner had been burning debris in his backyard and was unaware of the situation.

“The homeowner wasn’t aware the roof was on fire until we arrived,” Stoker said.

The fire had burned away a 4-by-5-foot section of the roof, along with torching some of the plywood structure underneath before firefighters were able to put the fire out.

“Most of these shingle roofs like this are pretty dried out,” he said, “and they burn quite rapidly if they are exposed to any type of flame. … So it’s a good idea to keep those shingles oiled and maintained.”

The preliminary estimate of damages is around $2,000, Stoker said. No one was injured in the fire.

Firefighters were able to determine the fire had not extended into the home beyond the torched tiles.

Stoker credited the multiple calls from passersby in helping to keep the incident relatively minor.

“We appreciate people when they call in. Mobile phones are great,” he said. “We get a faster report on a fire and that helps us respond faster.”

Anytime anyone sees anything suspicious, or medical and fire-related, or an accident, Stoker said he urges them to report it, even if they think someone else may already have.

“Please take the time to call 911,” he said. “Never assume someone else has called it in.”

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.


Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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Posted in Flood and Fire, Local, NewsTagged , , ,

1 Comment

  • mmsandie February 6, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Why do people still have wood shingles on roofs , I thought they were outlawed years ago.. especially during fireworks season..

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