Fire destroys Utah home as fierce winds pick up
Published: February 26, 2013 08:31PM
Updated: February 27, 2013 09:36AM
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Courtesy Bucky Whitehouse | Tooele City Fire Department. Firefighters battle a fire that destroyed a two-story home in the Tooele County town of Rush Valley Tuesday morning. High winds complicated firefighters' efforts, and the home collapsed. No one was injured.

A house in the Tooele County town of Rush Valley was gutted by a Tuesday morning fire fueled by strong winds which caused the home to collapse just after firefighters left the flaming structure.

The two-story residence began burning sometime Tuesday around 9 a.m., when the home’s owner awoke to crackling sounds. Firefighters from around Tooele County attacked the fire and almost had it extinguished, but the wind picked up and the fire expanded just as firefighters were transitioning between water sources, according to Tooele County spokesman Wade Matthews. Firefighters had to evacuate the home as the second story began to collapse.

Water had to be transported with water tenders from nearby Stockton about five miles away since there are no hydrants in Rush Valley, Matthews said. Wind speeds were estimated to be 20 to 30 miles per hour.

Two people in the home were able to escape without injury. The American Red Cross assisted with securing temporary living arrangements. The fire’s cause was still under investigation Tuesday.

Seven fire departments, 36 firefighters, two Mountain West ambulances and crews, and Tooele County Emergency Management responded to the fire. Firefighters from Rush Valley, Tooele, Terra, Stockton, North Tooele County, Grantsville and Deseret Chemical Depot assisted in battling the blaze.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KimballBennion