An elderly South Salt Lake man was in serious condition Monday suffering from burns he received in a Sunday fire, and a Midvale man narrowly escaped serious injury in a fire in his Midvale apartment.
Joseph Blackburn, 85, 3100 S. Washington St., South Salt Lake, is being treated in the University of Utah's Intermountain Burn Center for second-degree burns over 4 percent of his body. He was burned in a fire that destroyed his home.Meanwhile, Niel Wimpey, 34, 147 Plum Tree Lane, Apt. 7C, Midvale, was treated and released from Cottonwood Hospital after an early Monday morning blaze at his apartment.
South Salt Fire Battalion Chief Robert Adams said Blackburn and his wife, Mary, who was uninjured, attempted to control the blaze, he with a garden hose and she with a bucket of water, but to no avail.
South Salt Lake and Salt Lake County fire crews responded to the blaze about 7:30 a.m.
Flames, triggered by sparks from a wood-burning stove, were persistent "because the building had such a fire load," Adams said, referring to the presence of old newspapers and other flammable material in the home. Crews brought the blaze under control by 8:45 a.m., he said.
In the Midvale blaze, Wimpey was found lying in his smoke-filled apartment early Monday. He was transported to Cottonwood Hospital after neighbors in a downstairs apartment were alerted when smoke set off an alarm. Firefighters responded at 12:43 a.m., according to Midvale Fire Chief Merrill Ross.
"It appears to have been started by a cigarette in an overstuffed chair. It had been burning for a couple of hours," said Ross.
Wimpey's smoke alarm had also sounded, but did not awaken him.
The fire, which was contained in five minutes, caused smoke and fire damage to Wimpey's apartment and smoke damage to three other apartments. Damage was estimated at $7,000.
Midvale and Murray fire departments responded.