Man critical after fire heavily damages Tooele home
Published: May 22, 2013 05:10PM
Updated: December 7, 2013 11:32PM

Volunteer firefighters pulled an unconscious man from a house that was engulfed in flames early Wednesday morning in Tooele.

The man was transported to the hospital and the house suffered heavy damage.

Tooele County Emergency Management spokesman Wade Matthews said the investigation into what caused the 3:50 a.m. blaze at the house on Isgreen Circle was just beginning, but it appeared the blaze began in the back of the house.

A couple and their four children were staying in the home. When firefighters arrived, the 25-year-old son was unaccounted for.

Two volunteer firefighters entered the burning home and found the man, unconscious but breathing, under a stairway in the basement. They believe he may have tried taking shelter there before collapsing from the heat and smoke.

The two firefighters called for back-up, and two additional firefighters entered the home and helped them carry the man to safety, said Assistant Fire Chief Bucky Whitehouse.

For the volunteers to rush into a burning house to save the man’s life, “that’s exceptional,” Matthews said. The Tooele Fire Department is made up of volunteers who left their homes in the middle of the night to battle the fire, he said.

The man was first taken to Mountain West Medical Center in Tooele, then flown by helicopter to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. The nature of his injuries was not immediately released, but he initially was reported to be in critical condition.

Matthews said the house, valued at $175,000, was a total loss.

A local LDS Church ward was assisting the family with child care and sorting through the burned rubble for anything salvageable, Matthews said.

The parents’ three unharmed children, ages 5 to 16, are autistic and require a special diet, so fellow ward members were also helping them obtain that food, Whitehouse said.

mmcfall@sltrib.com