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Alpine mattress factory torched in welding fire

Published July 16, 2012 2:13 pm

Fire • Welding accident sets factory ablaze.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Piles of mattresses burned Monday at the GelMakers LLC mattress factory after the foam of one mattress was set ablaze in a welding accident.

Lone Peak Fire Chief Brad Freeman responded to the 911 call at 11 a.m. to find flames erupting throughout the two-story brick building at 123 E. 200 North.

"We pulled up to 15-foot flames coming out of the skylights and out of the ceiling," Freeman said.

After 15 minutes, firefighters were able to contain the flames, but the interior of the building was left in ruin, Freeman said.

"We got in there and did a really aggressive attack," he said. "But it gutted the whole business."

The foam mattresses worsened the problem, causing the fire to grow rapidly. Upon their arrival, Freeman said he knew his crew alone would not be able to contain the flames, and he called for back up from three other departments, including Lehi, Mount Peak and Pleasant Grove.

"After the first response, we called in for support because we knew it was just going to be too big," he said.

Freeman alerted neighboring Kencraft candy factory employees and a few home owners who live nearby and told them to evacuate.

Scott Proctor, the operations manager at Kencraft, said it made sense to evacuate the candy factory. "We're only about eight feet away from them," Proctor said.

Though the candy factory neighbored the fire, Proctor said he was not worried about the flames affecting the business.

"It was obvious it wasn't going to move to this building," Proctor said.

No one was injured in the fire and the outside structure of the mattress factory remains, although the interior was destroyed.

Representatives of GelMakers LLC could not be reached for comment.

dferguson@sltrib.com