Passerby alerts homeowner, calls 911 to report structure fire after seeing smoke

ST. GEORGE — A structure fire at a residence off Sunset Boulevard in St. George left the occupants displaced Wednesday and caused significant damage when the flames spread from the patio into the rear of the home.

Firefighters entering residence where a fire was reported on the rear patio at a home on North Dusk Drive, St. George, Utah, Jan. 6, 2021 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Shortly after noon firefighters and emergency personnel were dispatched to a home on North Dusk Drive to a structure fire. They arrived to find active flames rising from the rear of the residence. Occupants had evacuated the residence prior to St. George Fire Department’s arrival.

A passerby alerted the homeowner when they saw smoke coming from the home and then called 911 to report the blaze, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoke told St. George News.

Fire crews initiated an attack on the blaze from the rear of the home that had extended from the patio into the master bedroom and then continued through the ceiling and into a nearby bathroom. The St. George Fire Department’s Ladder 21 was deployed as crews extended its 100-foot ladder to tackle the flames from above the roof area.

The flames were extinguished as crews went through the ceiling and the stucco where the fire had extended, Stoker said, and they were able to extinguish the flames breaching the attic area. Crews were still at the scene conducting an overhaul to ensure that any embers that could smolder and then reignite were completely extinguished.

A video of the incident that includes an interview with Chief Stoker and a video clip provided courtesy of Dana Blackburn can be viewed at the top of this report. 

Rear view of the home on North Dusk Drive where the fire broke out on the second-story patio and extended into the bedroom, St. George, Utah, Jan. 6, 2021 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Stoker said the blaze started on the rear patio and then spread into the bedroom and bathroom area, causing significant damage to the rear of the home, while the roof itself was left primarily intact. He also said that fortunately, the home was constructed with stucco eves, which slowed the advance of the blaze.

The home is a 2-story structure with a full basement that extends its entire length with an entrance from the backyard. It also has a second-story patio off the master suite.

Fire crews also found the home to be “full of fuel” or a significant amount of items and household furnishings that provide fuel to keep the fire burning and also make it difficult for firefighters to access various areas inside of the home to suppress the blaze, Stoker said.

Gold Cross Ambulance was also on scene, and EMTs checked the occupants for any smoke inhalation and remained on standby in the event further assistance was needed.

The fire left the home uninhabitable, Stoker said, so the American Red Cross will be contacted once authorities are able to speak to the homeowner to determine if temporary housing or other resources are needed.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire that caused between $30,000-$50,000 in damage to the home.

“We’re talking to the homeowners to figure out what equipment or other items they had out on that deck,” Stoker said.

No injuries were reported to either firefighters or civilians. This report is based on statements from police, emergency personnel or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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