ENOCH — A family of seven escaped unharmed from their burning home Friday night after a parked vehicle caught fire inside an attached garage.
Cedar City Fire Capt. Travis Fails said he and other firefighters received a call from dispatch at approximately 7:45 p.m., reporting a vehicle on fire inside the garage of a house on Katie Court in Enoch.
“We were able to take one of our smaller vehicles and head that way to get a quicker response,” Fails said. “We were able to make it there relatively quickly, given the distance and the location, but when we arrived at the scene, it was already fully engulfed.”
At that point, flames were shooting out the top of the garage roof, Fails said. “It hadn’t gotten into the home yet at that point, but had started working in the rafters or in the attic.”
Ultimately, Cedar City Fire Department crews in six trucks and other vehicles responded to the blaze, Fails said.
“We were able to get inside and stop the progression of the fire pretty quickly,” Fails added. “Unfortunately, there was a lot of smoke damage inside the home.”
All seven family members living in the home, including five young children, were able to escape safely, along with their pet animals.
The father of the household was reportedly alerted to the fire by a neighbor who had noticed smoke coming from underneath the closed garage door. Flames and smoke had been pouring from underneath the family minivan parked in the garage.
“They had just returned from a trip and had pulled into the garage shortly before that,” Fails said. “It could have been a number of things that caused the car to catch fire. It’s really hard to say.”
Fails said firefighters were able to bring out a piano from inside the home and also salvaged some other prized possessions from smoke or water damage.
The residents of the home, identified as Isaac and Tiffany Askeroth and their five children, have been displaced from their residence. They have reportedly been staying in a hotel until they can find a suitable place to rent, according to next-door neighbor Sarah Barney, who was one of the neighbors who came over to help shortly after the fire started.
Barney said the fire was an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.
“We were there when it was just the small front part of the van and then it spread to the full gas tank and lit up fast,” she told Cedar City News.
Isaac Askeroth is currently a sergeant with Enoch City Police Department who formerly worked for Cedar City Police.
Neighbors and friends have since rallied round in support of the family, including sending donations to an online account to help the Askeroths financially. Click here for information on how to send donations to the Venmo account of @tiffany-askeroth.
Barney explained that monetary donations are the best way to help, since the family does not currently have a place to store many physical items.
“The money going into the Venmo account will just help them be able to make those types of decisions when the time comes,” Barney said.
The family does have insurance that will pay for the damage to the home, fire officials said.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.