Fire destroys Salt Lake City home

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 28 2011 1:54 p.m. MDT

Salt Lake City firefighters work on a fire that began in a garage and then spread to a home at 658 N. Sir Michael Drive in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A family of four was temporarily left without a home after a fire ripped through the home's garage and attic.

Firefighters arrived at 658 N. Sir Michael Drive (1955 West) just after 9 a.m., Salt Lake City Fire Capt. Mark Bednarik said. Neighbors spotted the flames, which reached as high as 10 feet, called 911 and notified the four people in the home.

"There's a separation wall between garages and houses, so it's possible they were unaware of it at the time, but were able to get out safely," Bednarik said.

Neighbor Carey Palmer said he was watching the news on television when he heard one loud popping sound followed by another. He looked out his front door and saw smoke and then flames.

"The next thing we heard was a bunch of popping and the house caught on fire," Palmer said. "(The four people in the home) were on their way coming out."

Homeowner Crysanne Newman said she had just finished getting ready for work when her husband told her to get out of the house. She looked out the back door and saw smoke coming from the garage.

"I was just going to take my pills and go to work, so at least I was already dressed," she said.

The couple's daughter and her infant child were also home when the fire broke out. Though firefighters determined the house is in an unlivable condition, Newman said they will stay with family in the area while waiting on direction from their insurance company.

"I'm pretty calm," she said. "My heart's beating a little fast, but my parents went through a fire in 1984 and everything worked out OK for them. We have insurance. We should be fine."

Bednarik said the blaze spread to the living room and kitchen of the home and caused smoke and water damage. Firefighters were able to put out the blaze within about 20 minutes, but were going to monitor for another hour or two for any areas that may be smoldering.

Fire investigators were working to determine the cause of the fire. Bednarik estimated damage at $60,000.

No one was injured in the blaze. Newman said the family had two dogs, three cats and some fish. One of the cats is still unaccounted for, according to Bednarik.  

E-mail: emorgan@desnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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