St. George storage unit blaze proves to be a lot of smoke, but not much fire

ST. GEORGE — The St. George Fire Department extinguished a fire in the Cove Creek Storage complex on Saturday afternoon.

A firefighter looks down from a ladder truck following a fire at Cove Creek Storage, St. George, Utah, Jan. 16, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

Three units experienced smoke damage and their contents destroyed. Several additional units also experienced milder damage. There were no injuries.

The department was first paged shortly after 1 p.m. after reports of smoke. Upon arrival, responders saw smoke emanating from eight units, St. George Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Hooper told St. George News. This, plus the notable smoke in the area spotted by crews while they were en route, prompted the department to send additional resources.

“We’re thinking we’ve got eight storage units with fire in them,” Hooper said. “It ended being just smoke in most of them and fire in two or three. We always think it’s better to over-respond than under-respond and then we can just send them home when we don’t need them.”

The storage facility is in a mixed residential and commercial area and locked in by additional properties. Hooper also noted there was a 250-gallon diesel tank on the property line of an adjacent complex, further warranting an elevated response.

A St. George Fire Department engine sets outside Cove Creek Storage after a fire in several units. St. George, Utah, Jan. 16, 2020 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

“We were able to protect the exposures on that and keep it from catching fire, spilling,” Hooper said. “If the fire had gotten much bigger, (the tank) probably would have been compromised.”

When it was all said and done, five engines, two ladder trucks and 22 firefighters arrived on the scene. St. George Police and Gold Cross Ambulance also responded to the incident.

As of 1:35 p.m., smoke was no longer visible from W. 1130 North St. Hooper said the contents of the units “appeared to just be your typical household stuff” initially, but they are continuing to sift through it.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. Hooper said the units are not wired with electricity and that the units appeared to be unoccupied at the time of the incident.

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

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