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Jury-rigged water heater may have ignited Orem apartment blaze

Published December 16, 2013 9:46 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A propane tank jury-rigged to a water heater likely led to a fire that forced an Orem family from its apartment over the weekend.

Orem police Lt. Craig Martinez said the 5-gallon tank apparently had been attached to the water heater when natural gas service to the unit in a four-plex at 157 W. 1015 North was cut off recently.

The circumstances of the 6:45 p.m. Sunday blaze continued to be under investigation Monday, including whether the attachment of the propane tank to the water heater was a safety code violation.

The fire burned into the unit's attic, but smoke and water were the primary factors in an estimated $20,000 in damage, Martinez said.

The family stayed in a motel overnight, Martinez said.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims