Smoke forces day care to evacuate, rabbi to rescue Torah
Published: February 3, 2014 05:40PM
Updated: February 3, 2014 07:03PM
Michael McFall | The Salt Lake Tribune About 20 children were evacuated Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, from a day care due to a two-alarm fire near 1700 South and 1100 East.

A faulty furnace was blamed for smoke that prompted the evacuation of a Salt Lake City day care on Monday afternoon.

At about 12:45 p.m., Salt Lake City fire crews responded to the Playhouse Daycare Center, at 1760 S. 1100 East, to find heavy smoke in the basement, according to a fire department news release.

Twenty children — five of them infants — were evacuated from the basement day care operation and taken to a building across the street to await the arrival of their parents.

Once power to the building was cut off, the smoke inside the building dissipated.

Investigators eventually determined furnace was the problem, and the building was turned over to the owner.

The building is also home to Chabad Lubavitch of Utah Jewish Center, where the report of smoke prompted Rabbi Benny Zippel and his daughter to remove two Torah scrolls for safekeeping.

Other businesses housed at the building include a health and wellness center and a cat health center.