A Palmyra family lost everything Thursday night when a fire destroyed their home while they celebrated Independence Day in Provo.
Utah County fire officials learned of the blaze at 10:19 p.m. and soon took up defensive positions around the home at 2189 W. 4000 South.
County fire marshal Dennis Barcker said crews from the county, Mapleton, Salem and Spanish Fork fought the fire until after 3 a.m. A sheriff’s deputy watched the fire through the night, and when it rekindled Friday morning crews used a track hoe to demolish the still-burning structure.
“It was such extensive damage that we couldn’t put it out last night,” Barker said.
Late Friday morning, Barker said crews were just finishing up. He called the home a complete loss.
The blaze displaced a mother, father and two or three children, Barker said.
Investigators have been unable to determine exactly how the fire began. Barker said the family had a barbecue Thursday evening, then left to attend the Stadium of Fire in Provo. The fire began in the vicinity of the barbecue, though Barker said it was new and that the family turned it off. He speculated that something hot could have worked its way into the home’s vinyl siding or deck and then ignited later.
“Once that vinyl starts burning it’s just about like gasoline,” Barker said. “It goes fast.”
Despite the lack of definitive answers about the fire’s origin, investigators did not consider it suspicious Friday morning.
A neighbor and a passer-by both reported the fire. Firefighters took a defensive position outside the home because, Barker said, it was too dangerous to go inside. He added that the second-story floors collapsed.
In addition, water was not available in the area — located northwest of Spanish Fork — for fire crews, who were forced to bring it in with trucks.
According to Barker, the family managed to salvage a few photos and a pair of boots, but lost everything else.