FRUIT HEIGHTS — A neighbor is being credited with warning a family of four that their home was on fire early Thursday, allowing them to escape before flames consumed the house.
Police were first notified about the fire at 4:40 a.m., Kaysville Fire Chief Brett Larkin said. When officers arrived at the home near 590 S. Grand Oaks Drive, flames had already taken over the roof, but two adults and two teenagers had evacuated safely.
The fire spread rapidly from the basement to the attic, Larkin said. Firefighters spent more than an hour containing the blaze and the rest of the day dousing the flames, including knocking down portions of the home to reach lingering hot spots.
Larkin called the home a total loss, with damage exceeding $250,000. The fire remains under investigation, but it is believed the blaze was an accident caused by an electrical problem.
A neighbor heading to work early Thursday saw flames in the home and rushed to wake the family, Larkin said. The home, which the chief described as an older rambler, had only one smoke detector, which hadn't yet gone off.
"Where (the fire) was kind of in a confined area in the beginning, the smoke hadn't gotten to it yet," Larkin said. "They only had one (smoke detector) on the main level, so you need to have them on every level, and they need to be tied together if you can."
Updated codes require smoke detectors in all hallways and bedrooms, he said, but older homes may not have as many.
It wasn't clear who called 911, Larkin said, but it was likely a neighbor because the family made it out of the home with "only the clothes on their backs" and without their cellphones.
The family was receiving help from the Red Cross, family members and neighbors, Larkin said.