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Two West Valley City homes damaged in wind-stoked fire

Published: Saturday, March 31 2012 9:12 p.m. MDT

West Valley firefighters put out a fire that damaged two homes on Florlita Avenue in West Valley City on Saturday, March 31, 2012.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

WEST VALLEY CITY — A wind-whipped fire at  a home spread quickly Saturday, jumping to a neighbor's carport and house before the blaze was knocked back by firefighters.

Evelyn Blake said she saw the thick, black smoke from her house about 2:45 p.m. and quickly went to investigate because her sister lives on the same street.

"I looked out my window and looked down the street, and there were barrels of black smoke coming up," she said, adding she was stunned to realize it was her sister's home that was burning.

"I just started screaming, 'It's their house!' There was smoke and flames coming out of their house all over."

West Valley Fire Marshal Bob Fitzgerald said both families were home at the time of the fire and were able to inform each other about the fire and help everyone get out.

"We're grateful no one was injured," he said, a sentiment shared by Blake.

"I'm just grateful everybody's out and OK," she said, wiping away tears of relief. "It kind of breaks your heart."

Her sister recently had twin girls and the fire left the family without many necessities. The blaze displaced 21 people. The Red Cross offered assistance to the families.

Fire officials said the cause of the blaze at 3341 Florlita Ave. remains under investigation but a faulty gas line may be the culprit.

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com, Twitter: amyjoi16

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