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Elderly man escapes unharmed from 2-alarm fire in northeast Salt Lake City

Published March 18, 2013 9:52 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Firefighters rushed to the scene of a two-alarm blaze early Monday morning at a northeast Salt Lake City home and rescued its elderly owner.

The Salt Lake City Fire Department confirmed Monday afternoon that the fire was electrical and was caused by heat tape on the roof.

The 5:30 a.m. fire at 1377 E. Tomahawk Drive (595 North), about a mile from the University of Utah campus, took about an hour to control. Department spokesman Jasen Asay said the location of the home, up a steep driveway, meant crews had to unroll nearly 1,000 feet of hose.

Asay said the home's smoke alarm alerted a private security company, which then called firefighters to the scene.

Firefighters helped the house's owner, who is in his 90s, escape as flames began shooting from the roof. Asay said firefighters then reentered the home to get the homeowner a robe and shoes to wear. The man stayed inside a fire engine until his relatives arrived.

A loss estimate was still being assessed, but Asay said damage was limited to the attic and roofing.

Two years ago, during the fire department's "Ready, Set, Go" program, crews visited this area to talk with residents who live in high-risk wildfire areas — and the wild land-urban interface — how to best prepare themselves and their properties against fire threats. One fire captain spoke with this particular homeowner, and was given a tour of both the inside of the home and the surrounding area.

That captain was on the first-arriving crew for this fire, Asay said, and his knowledge of the house was beneficial in locating the fire and quickly keeping it from spreading throughout the house.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims