A 62-year-old Woods Cross man died in a hospital after being critically injured in a fire at his house Monday night, and now city officials are looking into why the hydrant in front of his home wasn’t working when firefighters tried to tap in.
Just before 9 p.m., a passerby called 911 to report a fire at 1375 S. 1100 West. A neighbor also called about the fire, saying the homeowner, Eric Bardall, was likely still inside, according to a news release from South Davis Metro Fire.
Fire crews arrived within five minutes of the call and described flames burning out of the front window and floor-to-ceiling dark and heavy smoke. Firefighters searched the home and found Bardall; the release said “the amount of personal property” in the home made it hard to search.
Among other complications for firefighters, the fire hydrant out front was dry and “numerous” small propane tanks were leaking gas and bolstering the fire’s growth. Crews extinguished the fire within 30 minutes of the call, according to the release.
City manager Gary Uresk said a valve connecting the hydrant to the main water line was shut off. City officials are investigating why.
“It’s a new hydrant. We’d had some construction on the street, and had a contractor put the hydrants in. We’re checking with the contractor and all the employees involved and getting to the bottom of it,” Uresk said.
Fire Chief Jeff Bassett said while the dry hydrant slowed how quickly firefighters stamped out the blaze, he doesn’t believe it contributed to the man’s death, because by the time crews arrived, smoke was so thick in the house it was likely toxic.