WEST VALLEY CITY — Investigators believe fireworks may have started a fire that destroyed a home Tuesday night.
Just before 10 p.m., firefighters were called to a house near 3700 South and 3900 West.
"When crews arrived, the fire was coming out the back side of the house. It was fully involved. There was fire coming out the front door and some of the windows," said West Valley Fire Marshal Bob Fitzgerald.
But when crews went to hook a hose to the fire hydrant, they couldn't get it open. Someone had recently painted the hydrant and the dried paint created a seal.
Crews were still able to pour water on the fire, using the department's two fire engines that carry about 500 gallons of water each.
"We used all that water before getting the hydrants open," he said.
While hooking the hoses to the hydrant normally takes about three minutes, it took firefighters 10 minutes on Tuesday.
"It's people with good intentions," he said of the newly painted fire hydrant.
But Fitzgerald also noted those people need to get permission to paint beforehand because of the stringent rules involved with painting a hydrant.
Another issue that was raised because of the incident was fireworks. Although the official cause of the house fire was "undetermined," Fitzgerald said investigators strongly suspect fireworks.2 comments on this story
"Neighbors had complained the previous nights that people had been lighting fireworks," he said.
The fire started on an exterior wood deck before spreading to the house. Several adults and children were able to get out of the house safely. The home was a total loss.
Fitzgerald encouraged all residents to use fireworks safely, and only in designated areas during the upcoming July 24 holiday.