Family comes home to find house ablaze

Photo taken from a neighbor's cell phone shows flames and smoke coming from a home on Bulloch Street as police officers tell neighbors to evacuate. Washington City, Utah, March 17, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Quinton Macomber, St. George News

WASHINGTON CITY — A house caught fire on Bulloch Street Saturday afternoon, causing damage to parts of the structure and displacing the family who lives there.

Washington City firefighter Julio Reyes said the initial call to dispatch came in shortly after 1:30 p.m., when the family members, who had been away for about an hour and a half, returned home to see smoke billowing from the structure, which is located near 450 East.

See video below courtesy of Quinton Macomber.

“When the report came in, it was originally stated that there was white smoke coming out of the front door,” Reyes said.

The family immediately left after seeing the smoke that was filling the home.

Scene of a house fire on Bulloch Street, Washington City, Utah, March 17, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Officers from Washington City Police Department arrived first, within about three or four minutes of the homeowner’s 911 call.

“They said they had heavy flames coming out of the rear of the home, which was confirmed when our engine first arrived,” Reyes said. “They had heavy smoke and flames coming out of the back and the front.”

Fire crews were able to extinguish the flames within a short time of their arrival, Reyes said.

“Our initial attack crew was able to knock it down from outside on the back of the house,” Reyes said, “which knocked it down enough that we were able to set up an attack team and go interior.”

In addition to three fire engines and battalion trucks from Washington City Fire Department, a St. George Fire Department ladder truck and its crew also responded. Gold Cross Ambulance also responded, but no injuries were reported.

The St. George Fire Department’s ladder truck was deployed in case roof access was needed.

Scene of a house fire on Bulloch Street, Washington City, Utah, March 17, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

“We set it up because we worried it had extended into the attic,” Reyes said. “However, once we started pulling all the ceilings throughout, we were confident that it wasn’t an attic issue.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is believed to have originated somewhere in the rear bedroom located at the northwest corner of the home. That bedroom and adjacent rooms sustained significant fire and water damage, Reyes said, adding that the remaining areas of the home had some smoke damage.

No estimate on the total amount of damages has yet been made, but the family, which includes four children, has been displaced.

Bulloch Street was closed to traffic for more than an hour while responders tended to the scene. Dozens of neighbors and other bystanders watched from their yards and adjacent sidewalks.

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