A three-alarm fire destroyed a South Salt Lake home Wednesday night after the home's owner called police to report he heard gunfire.
No one was reported injured in the blaze, which began about 11:15. Fire crews were sent back to the site early Thursday morning after the fire flared up again.The homeowner, Greg Horrell, said he was in his shop, Orion Hobby at 2770 S. Main behind the home, when the fire started. "The power went off in the store, I went outside and saw a couple of flashes," said Horrell, who ran to a neighbor's home to report what he thought was gunfire.
Another neighbor, Mike Lewis, said he told Horrell that his home was on fire and called the Fire Department.
The South Salt Lake Fire Department dispatched a second unit about 11:30 and a third alarm a few minutes later. Fire-fighters from Salt Lake City and the county were also called in, said South Salt Lake Fire Capt. John Nash.
One neighbor trained a garden hose on the huge blaze from behind a fence ringing the property, and about 20 other people stood by watching the flames lick tree branches that hung over the roof of the two-story home. A total of 20 to 25 firefighters eventually brought the fire under control after about an hour, Nash said.
Horrell said his home had a closed-loop solar water heating system, and the oil-based heating fluid could have slowed firefighters' efforts to knock the fire down.
Nash said the fire appeared to have started in the center of the house on the ground floor. That, plus the fact that the house was walled off from Main Street by three large warehouse-type businesses, made access to the fire difficult.
Firefighters had to work from the businesses' roofs and from a narrow access off an alley.
The cause of the fire was unknown early Thursday morning.