A late afternoon fire Thursday destroyed a Layton warehouse and freshly harveted onion crop valued at between $95,000 and $100,000, according to the Layton Fire Department. The fire destroyed a 60- by 100-foot warehouse and about 300 boxes of onions belonging to Dix Roberts, 925 S. Angel St.
Layton Fire Marshal Cort Galbraith said the fire broke out about 4:30 p.m. on the Roberts farm property, and the Layton department responded with three engines and 20 men.Although the fire was under control in about an hour, the warehouse, two pieces of farm equipment and some junked vehicles adjacent to it were destroyed.
Firemen were able to contain the blaze to the warehouse area, keeping it away from two other sheds, the Roberts home and some fuel tanks to the east of the warehouse, Galbraith said.
"We had a lucky break. We just put water lines out there last fall, a year ago, and there was a hydrant right in front of the house," Galbraith said. "We had sufficient water pressure and were able to attack the fire on the east end, keeping it from spreading to the other buildings."
Galbraith said one of the first firemen to respond and make the initial attack on the flames was treated for minor neck and hand burns at Humana Hospital Davis North and discharged.
The warehouse had 300 wooden boxes of onions in one half and empty wooden boxes in the other, making it a particularly hot and difficult one to fight, Galbraith said.
A neighbor of Roberts brought over a piece of heavy equipment after the fire was put out and spread the singed onions out, allowing fire crews to put out hot spots, working until nearly 3 a.m.
"It was kind of sad, seeing his whole crop spread out like that and destroyed," Galbraith said. The onions contained too much moisture to burn, Galbraith said, but the cooked vegetables put out a pungent odor.
Galbraith said the fire's cause has not been determined yet, "but it doesn't appear at this time to be suspicious." His investigation continued Friday, the fire marshal said.