Eight families displaced by apartment complex fire in West Jordan

Published: Sunday, March 17 2013 12:05 p.m. MDT

Families were displaced after a fire in the Broadmoor Apartments in West Jordan Sunday, March 17, 2013.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

WEST JORDAN — Several families were displaced Saturday after fire caused damage to an apartment complex.

"There was just smoke and fire everywhere. It was just crazy," said Jacob Carley, one of the residents forced to flee his apartment.

"A nightmare," added his wife, Angie Carley.

Firefighters were called to the Broadmoor Village Apartments,  3375 W. 7800 South, just after 9 p.m. The first arriving crews found heavy smoke and fire coming from one of the third story units, said West Jordan Fire Chief Marc McElreath.

The fire was contained to the one unit, but there was heavy smoke and water damage throughout the eight-unit building. The blaze may have started as a grease fire while the tenants of the third-story unit that was destroyed were cooking, McElreath said. It took crews about an hour to bring the fire under control.

McElreath said the damage is estimated at $250,000. He said six of the eight units will likely require extensive cleanup and renovation.

A 37-year-old man who lives in the fire-ravaged apartment suffered minor burns on his arm while trying to get his pets out, the fire chief said. The man's wife and four children were all able to escape without injury.

The man, who uses oxygen tanks for an undisclosed medical issue, also was seen throwing bottles of oxygen out of his apartment in an attempt to prevent explosions, McElreath said.

Jacob and Angie Carley rent the unit right underneath the one that burned.

"We got our kids out, that' s the important thing," Angie Carley said. "It's one of those things you didn't think would happen to us."

Carley said she and her husband had just put their kids to bed and were sitting down to relax for the evening when neighbors pounded on their door and told them to get out.

"'You need to get out. There is a fire above you guys. You need to get out,'" Jacob Carley said the neighbors yelled. "Everybody just starts grabbing stuff. We grabbed the kids and some blankets."

They forgot to grab their cell phones, however. But the Carleys said a firefighter was nice enough to go back into their unit later and grab them.

Sean and Megan Christiansen live in the unit adjacent to one where the fire started. They were at a movie when their roommate called to tell them about the fire.

Megan Christiansen, who teaches guitar lessons out of her apartment, didn't know Sunday whether all her guitars, computer and other possessions survived.

The Greater Salt Lake Chapter of the American Red Cross responded to the scene and helped three of the families who were displaced and did not have a place to stay with shelter, food and clothing.

E-mail: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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