Fire at apartments near Dixie State forces students to find other places to stay

A fire spread from the basement to the first floor of Almond Tree Apartments, St. George, Utah, Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A fire possibly started by a candle lit in a bedroom caused extensive damage at the Almond Tree Apartments in St. George late Friday night. No injuries were reported.

Fire damage in the basement at Almond Tree Apartments, St. George, Utah, May 8, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

The call came in to St. George Fire Department at 10:20 p.m. Chief Robert Stoker told St. George News that while the actual blaze was contained and extinguished in about 30 minutes, personnel remained on the scene until after 2 a.m. doing follow-up duty.  

Almond Tree Apartments, 83 S. 1000 East, is right next to the Dixie State University campus and most of its occupants are students. Stoker said that many of the occupants were not on the premises since the semester is over and they have left for the summer.

“Right now, we’re looking at it as nothing suspicious. An accidental fire,” Stoker said.

Stoker reported that the fire appears to have started in a bedroom on the basement level of the complex. The blaze then spread from the bedroom throughout the basement units.

“That corresponds with what one of the residents told us,” Stoker said. “They reported that they had lit a candle in that bedroom.”

Fire damaged the electric wiring at Almond Tree Apartments, St. George, Utah, May 8, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Stoker said fire department personnel, Dixie State University Police, St. George Police and Gold Cross Ambulance responded to the call.

Fire crews evacuated the building, then extinguished the fire. Stoker reported that flames burst out of a back window and crept up the wall to the first floor, causing smoke and fire damage to apartment units there.

Dominion Gas and St. George Power officials were at the scene, and the power to the entire building had to be shut off.

“The fire burned through and damaged the electrical wiring to all the units,” Stoker said.

As of late Saturday morning, the building remained evacuated with the power shut off. 

Stoker said the residents that were there are being assisted to find other places to stay and Red Cross is helping with that effort.

This report is based on statements from emergency personnel and may not contain the full scope of the findings.

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

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!