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Smoke forces day care to evacuate, rabbi to rescue Torah

Published February 3, 2014 5:40 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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.

mcfall@sltrib.com