More than 30 residents of a housing complex for senior citizens and handicapped people shivered in the cold Wednesday while firefighters from South Salt Lake doused a mattress fire in their building.
South Salt Lake police officers evacuated the building, carrying several residents in their arms to safety.Flames erupted in a second-floor apartment at St. Marks Millcreek Apartments, 418 E. 3060 South, about 11:30 p.m. after a resident lit a match to find an item she had lost in the dark, South Salt Lake Fire Capt. John Nash said.
The woman apparently dropped the match near her bed and couldn't pick it up, he said.
"We get a lot of alarms at this location, so we thought it was kind of routine until police reported smoke in the apartment," Nash said.
"Thank goodness for those (police) officers - they did a great job," Nash said.
South Salt Lake Police Sgt. Van Midgley, officers Tracy Tingey, Stacey Rawlings, Dave Bahde and Travis Pearce were the first to arrive, and they evacuated the residents.
One woman was treated at the scene for shortness of breath. No other injuries were reported.
The fire burned a wall and destroyed a mattress and bed frame, causing $1,000 damage.
An automatic sprinkling system kept the fire from spreading to other parts of the apartment and three-story building. Water damage was estimated at $5,000.
Many of the building's residents waited in their cars and on the grass while firefighters secured the complex. Police officers and firefighters helped several residents in wheelchairs return to their apartments.