UPDATED: Fire destroys house near Hurricane Middle School

ST. GEORGE — A fire that officials say started from welding sparks destroyed a house in Hurricane on Wednesday afternoon and for a time threatened Hurricane Middle School and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ seminary building. 

Fire engulfs home on July 28, 2021. Hurricane, Utah | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

There were no injuries and by 4:58 p.m., the fire was contained.  

The fire was first reported as a brush fire at 3:41 p.m., provoking a response from Hurricane wildfire crews. But the flames spread to an adjacent home located on at 366 W. 300 North. Flames and smoke could be seen rising out of the home into the Hurricane sky.

Officials initially said the sparks that started the fire came from the junkyard, but Hurricane Valley Fire Battalion Chief Nick Wright said it was actually someone working on the house. 

“Someone was working at the house with a saw that sent sparks most likely starting the fire,” he said.

Wright said the home, which he said was unoccupied, was a total loss.

“By the time we got here, it was fully in flames,” Wright said. 

St. George News has heard from a family that said it was their father-in-law’s winter home.

Officials from the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands said the fire ended up burning 1.5 acres.

The house and junkyard are located directly around the block from Hurricane Middle School and directly next door to the school’s LDS seminary building. For a time, Wright said the school was threatened.

Hurricane Fire Department on the scene of a fire engulfing a home on July 28, 2021. Hurricane, Utah | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

“It was a worry but the thing that was the most worry was the seminary with its trees right next to the house, but we were able to keep it from hitting the trees,” Wright said. 

Hurricane Valley firefighters were assisted by Washington City and Hildale fire crews. Wright said by late afternoon, a ladder crew was putting out spot fires. Along with trying to keep the fire from spreading to the seminary and school, they had to contend with monsoonal heat in the triple-digits with humidity, he said. 

“We have a couple of firefighters who got pretty hot and had to stop but so far nobody has been hurt.”

St. George News reporters Ron Chaffin and Darren Fraser contributed to this story.

Updated 9:30 p.m., July 28, 2021: Clarification on where the fire started was added, as well as information pertaining to the homeowner.

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

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