‘Everything was fully engulfed’; Rental cabin burns down in fire near Panguitch Lake

A cabin in Panguitch Lake was a total loss after a Fire Saturday night, Panguitch Lake, Utah, April 18, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Burger Barn Facebook page, St George News / Cedar City News

PANGUITCH LAKE — A rental cabin at 70 Alpine Circle in Panguitch Lake was declared a total loss after a fire Saturday night.

Panguitch City and Panguitch Lake Fire Departments, which are both run by volunteers, responded to the fire around 9 p.m. Saturday night, and firefighters remained on scene until nearly 4 a.m.

Panguitch Lake Fire Department Chief Dave Etter said all three of Panguitch City’s fire engines were on scene, as well as Panguitch Lake’s Type 2 Engine.

“We pretty well had the thing knocked down, and they (Panguitch City) had to pull off around 11 or 12 o’clock because their city was left barren with all their engines up there,” he said. “It was at a point where we could stay on it; we stayed on it until 4 o’clock.”

Etter said by the time the call went out, he could see the cabin was completely immersed in the fire from his own home.

“By the time the page went out — I’m across the meadow from this one and I could see it — it reminded me of the Brian Head fire,” he said. “I mean the trees, the house, everything was fully engulfed.”

Etter said he and one other volunteer from Panguitch Lake helped other firefighters attack the fire from multiple sides.

“We were hooked up to hydrants so we could pour a ton of water on it, but it was very difficult,” he said. “We threw out about 300 yards of supply line to Panguitch City, who had rolled down closer to it and then they put out wildland hoses. We eventually got another engine down in front of it, so we were hitting it from two or three sides.”

Etter said it was snowing when Panguitch Lake firefighters went back to the fire station.

“We just dropped our hoses and drove back to the department, and we were paged out again four hours later because it was still smoldering and there was concern about the propane tank,” he said.

The one-story cabin was a total loss, and several trees near it were also burnt, but no other structures were impacted by the fire.

Etter said the owner of the cabin was reportedly trying to warm the cabin in order to keep the pipes from freezing, lit a fire in a fireplace or a stove, and something caused it to grow out of control.

“This time of year it’s still very, very cold. You can freeze all your pipes,” Etter said. “He had gone over and lit the fireplace, or some type of stove, and that it had backed up somehow or another and exploded or caught fire — something of that order. It initiated him to run home and call 911 and by the time we got paged out and everybody was coming up the hill. It was fully engulfed very quickly.”

Although no other structures were impacted, the owner of the cabin reportedly warned neighboring homeowners.

“He went next door to the next closest cabin, banged on their door and told them to get out, there was a fire,” Etter said.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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