Firefighters evacuated the elderly and handicapped residents of a low-income downtown Salt Lake City senior citizen housing complex Thursday morning after flames from a cooking mishap erupted inside a 10th-floor apartment.
Salt Lake City Fire Department spokesman Jasen Asay said no serious injuries were reported in the 8:15 a.m. fire where more than 150 residents some in wheelchairs and several with impaired vision were evacuated from the 15-story Senior Multi-Ethnic Housing building.
Several residents had to be carried by firefighters out of the building, located at 120 S. 200 West, just west of the Salt Palace Convention Center, Asay said. One woman suffered a small cut on her knee when she tripped on the sidewalk.
The fire was caused by a 10th-floor tenant who left his stove unattended while cooking with grease, Asay said. The fire was limited to his apartment.
"The fire was ... contained by the apartment's sprinkler system until our firefighters arrived on scene and extinguished it. But we have substantial water damage from the 10th floor down, so we evacuated residents until things are cleaned up," Asay said.
By Thursday afternoon, all residents had been allowed back into their apartments, except four whose units were uninhabitable, according to the Utah chapter of the American Red Cross.
Red Cross spokeswoman Teresa Zundel said her organization would be housing and feeding those four people, occupants of two damaged units, at least through Thursday night.
During the day, the Red Cross provided lunch for the residents while they waited to return to their homes.