Orem firefighter faces long recovery from Lindon wall collapse
Vivint fire • Cause officially undetermined, but heat tape on roof suspected.
Published: March 19, 2014 12:32PM
Updated: March 20, 2014 08:53PM
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| Courtesy Orem Fire Battalion Chief Layne Pace, 59, was injured Tuesday, March 19, 2013, when the wall fell on him during a fire at the Vivint complex, near 500 South and 500 West, in Lindon.

A senior Orem firefighter was in serious condition Wednesday, facing a long recovery from injuries suffered when a large wall fell on him while he directed efforts to douse a blaze at a Lindon call center and warehouse.

Orem Fire Battalion Chief Layne Pace, 59, suffered a fractured left shoulder, left hip and pelvis late Tuesday morning when the wall — which was largely comprised of steel doorways — fell on him, according to Lindon Police Chief Cody Cullimore.

Pace was given first aid by his crew, then rushed to Timpview Regional Hospital and later transferred to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center for orthopedic surgery.

Meanwhile, investigators had not yet officially determined a cause for the fire, but they were leaning toward blaming recent installation of heat tape on a roof gutter of the Vivint complex, near 500 South and 500 West.

“They had put heat tape on the roof to avoid icing issues, but it is a sheet metal roof and there’s foam insulation underneath that we’re thinking apparently just got too hot,” Cullimore said.

A firm damage figure was still being developed, but Cullimore said, “It easily will be in the millions [of dollars]. About 400 to 500 computers inside were destroyed and there was a lot of water damage.”

Extinguishing the fire, first reported about 9 a.m. Tuesday, took until late afternoon. Even then, it turned out, hot spots continued to smolder underneath the roofing. Lindon firefighters had to douse a small, short-lived flare-up in the insulation material again at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, Cullimore said.

Several hundred employees of Vivint, a home automation and security company, were evacuated from the building and adjacent structures. Two employees complained of smoke inhalation and were treated by medics at the scene.

Joining Lindon firefighters on Tuesday were crews from neighboring Orem, Provo, Pleasant Grove and American Fork.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims