As smoke filled the house, a Cottonwood Heights police officer ran inside to save a woman from the fire.
A recessed light in a kitchen overheated Monday night and sparked a smoldering fire at 7760 S. Towne Circle, said Unified Fire Authority Capt. Cliff Burningham. The 911 call came in at 9:39 p.m., and two minutes later, police Sgt. Dan Bartlett was the first on scene at the home.
Bartlett met Douglas Young in the doorway, where the homeowner told the sergeant that his wife Beverly was still in the house. Bartlett went in and found her in the master bedroom, and after some protest from her about what shoes she should put on, he guided Beverly Young out of the house — just in time.
"As they got to the street, the house erupted in flames," said Police Chief Robby Russo.
The first fire crews arrived and saw smoke and flames coming out of the roof, Burningham said. They knocked the fire down within five minutes, though by then the fire had already done an estimated $25,000 to $50,000 in damage.
Bartlett suffered smoke inhalation from his rescue. He was taken to Intermountain Medical Center, where he was treated and released later that night.
A firefighter also suffered minor burns on his neck, which were treated at the scene.
The fire left the structure of the Young’s home mostly in tact, with smoke damage through much of the home and the fire damage mostly limited to the attic, Burningham said. Firefighters also had to pull sheet rock out of the attic to fight the fire.
The couple are displaced for the near future, but they should be able to return to their home after it’s been repaired, Burningham said.
Russo credits the quick response time to the Valley Emergency Communications Center, which dispatches fire and police units at the same time, as opposed to other dispatchers, who put priority on fire and medical units and transfer the call to police later.
"The response time from when they picked up the phone to [Bartlett reaching] the front door is 2 minutes," Russo said. Had the wait been longer, the night could have turned out very differently, he added.
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