ST. GEORGE — The St. George Fire Department got an assist from neighbors of a homeowner whose large tool shed caught fire Wednesday night in the Paradise Canyon neighborhood of St. George.
The fire, which started around 8 p.m. on the 1100 block of Hummingbird Drive, completely destroyed an approximately 12-foot-long by 6-foot-wide plastic tool shed but did not spread to the main home or any adjacent properties.
However, that didn’t mean the people in the adjacent properties weren’t involved.
“Half of the fire was brought down by neighbors grabbing hoses,” said the homeowner, who added that she wasn’t surprised by the response of her neighbors. “Yeah, that’s our neighbors. I hugged them”
The homeowner said she was in the bath when she saw the flames erupting, an event which ended up being visible throughout their neighborhood.
“The flames went over my house,” she said.
Her husband started trying to hose down the towering flames.
Neighbor Pat Baldwin saw the flames from her home down the block and was one of the first to call 911.
“I saw the embers and was worried they would land throughout the neighborhood, but all the neighbors, they put down half the flames.”
Baldwin said St. George Police arrived three minutes after the 911 calls, and they were followed four minutes later by St. George Engine 27 and its battalion.
“We saw neighbors spraying over their wall on the next property,” St. George Fire Captain Scott Peacock said, “and had to have them move because they were going to catch the stuff sent up by our hoses.”
he more powerful hoses of the St. George firefighters finished off the fire in about an hour, and additional work utilizing more advanced firefighting technology helped ensure the main house was safe. Peacock said the firefighters used thermal cameras to make sure there were no hot spots on the outside of the house.
“The outside of the house was 210 degrees, but that was not hot enough to catch flame.”
While the exact cause of the fire could not be determined, Peacock said linseed oil was likely involved.
“The owner said he left linseed oil rags in there and couldn’t find where he left them,” Peacock said.
Linseed oil can generate heat as it dries, which means if it’s on something flammable like a rag – or multiple rags – it can ignite without any outside spark, especially in a closed area like a shed where inside temperatures may elevate beyond outside temperatures.
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