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Tooele County fire causes heavy damage, displaces family

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 1 2015 6:40 p.m. MDT

Jim Barnes walks through what's left of his house after an early morning fire in Stansbury Park on Saturday, June 21, 2014. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Jim Barnes walks through what's left of his house after an early morning fire in Stansbury Park on Saturday, June 21, 2014. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

STANSBURY PARK — A hot and fast moving fire ripped through a home here early Saturday, destroying the house, detached garage and a brand new fifth wheel trailer.

Just after 2 a.m., a husband, wife, adult son and 4-year-old grandchild were asleep in their Rambler style home, 141 Country Club, when the father was wakened by a sound.

"The father of the home heard something, went out on the front porch and the whole front porch area was on fire," said North Tooele Fire Chief Ray Willden. "He heard a loud crack or snap out on the patio and when he got up and looked out there, the fire was really going. But that simply could have been the front window cracking out from the heat of the fire. He was sound asleep at the time, so he was pretty foggy at the same time that it happened."

Jim Barnes walks through what's left of his house after an early morning fire in Stansbury Park on Saturday, June 21, 2014. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Jim Barnes walks through what's left of his house after an early morning fire in Stansbury Park on Saturday, June 21, 2014. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

The father called 911 about the same time that a neighbor who was just getting home from a late night job also called 911, Willden said. The family was able to get out of the house safely. The mother and grandchild were treated by paramedics at the scene for minor smoke inhalation.

More than 20 firefighters from North Tooele County and Grantsville responded. Willden said the fire was believed to have started on a redwood patio just outside the front door. The fire spread to the roof, and then the roof of a detached two car garage and a new $40,000 fifth wheel.

"The house will be a total loss. The master bedroom, fortunately, where a lot of their things were stored, was saved. That was the one room that had a lot of water damage but very little fire damage. They were able to salvage a lot of their personal belongings from that room," he said.

Jim Barnes walks through what's left of his house after an early morning fire in Stansbury Park on Saturday, June 21, 2014. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Jim Barnes walks through what's left of his house after an early morning fire in Stansbury Park on Saturday, June 21, 2014. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

Likewise, the basement suffered water damage but little fire damage.

The hot burning fire, fueled by the vinyl siding, also melted a lot of the plastic on the family's two vehicles parked near the house.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Saturday. An investigator from the State Fire Marshall's Office was on scene Saturday afternoon sifting through the rubble to try and find an ignition source.

Every hotel in Tooele County is full this weekend because of an event at the Miller Motorsports Park, Willden said. The Red Cross found a hotel in Salt Lake County for the displaced family.

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