Three fires Tuesday evening caused extensive damage to houses around the Salt Lake Valley.
Firefighters in West Valley City arrived about 5:35 p.m. to find flames shooting out of a front bedroom in a rambler-style home near 6100 W. Terrace Ridge Drive (4385 South), said West Valley City Fire Battalion Chief Bob Fitzgerald.
The two-alarm fire had gotten big enough to spread into the attic above the bedroom, and radiant heat from the flames even melted some of the siding of the house next door, Fitzgerald said.
No people or pets were in the house at the time, and no injuries were reported. By the time crews put the fire out, the blaze had done about $80,000 to $100,000 worth of damage.
An overloaded electrical socket appears to have caused the fire, Fitzgerald said.
Minutes later, another two-alarm fire broke out in Riverton. A neighbor saw smoke coming from a home at 2589 W. 12340 South, said Capt. Clint Mecham of Unified Fire Authority. Firefighters arrived to find smoke and flames shooting from the back corner of the home. They tried to go inside to fight the blaze, but the smoke and heat drove them back outside, Mecham said. Crews then poured water over the fire from a ladder above the house.
The roof collapsed, leaving the house a total loss to the mother and 11 children who lived there. The value of the damage was still being tallied on Tuesday night; the home was valued at $150,000 to $170,000
No one was injured, as the family was at a swimming pool at the time of the fire, Mecham said.
A third fire began about 7:55 p.m. in Kearns, Mecham said. An evergreen tree caught fire and then ignited the eaves of the house at 5939 S. Kyle Drive (4520 West). The fire got into the attic and did significant damage to the roof, Mecham said.
Investigators were interviewing the home’s occupants and neighbors Tuesday night to learn how the tree — green and healthy — caught fire.
"It’s kind of strange," Mecham said. "... They haven’t gone so far as to call it suspicious."
The family of four adults and two children will be displaced for several days, Mecham said. The dollar value of the damage was being assessed as of Tuesday night.
Kimball Bennion contributed to this story.
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