Wednesday night wasn't a good time to stand outside in stocking feet.
But fire at a Salt Lake home prevented family members from grabbing their shoes before they could flee the smoke and flames."We were just relaxing and watching TV. We didn't have no shoes on none of us," said Rita Cravens, whose house at 759 E. Linden Ave. (345 South) was damaged by fire about 5:50 p.m. Wednesday.
Cravens, her three children, and three other friends were in the house when they smelled smoke and discovered flames in the basement. Without coats and without shoes, the family ran out into the snow and the 18-degree weather.
"See, I just got one," said Michael, 10, who had managed to find one shoe before fleeing to a neighbor's house. But despite the lack of clothing, friends were able to rescue a couch, a television and other small items.
"I opened the basement door and saw flames by the water heater," said family friend Dennis Madrid. "I closed the door and said `Let's grab what you can and get out of here.' "
"I just freaked. I have new furniture and everything in there," said Cravens.
"I was scared. I'm still shivering," said 13-year-old Angel Begay.
Salt Lake Fire Battalion Chief Tom Tallon described the damage to the house as minor. "It was mostly contained to the basement, but it burned up the wall and into the attic area," he said. Damage was estimated at $5,000.
No one was injured in the fire that Tallon said likely started from debris next to a water heater.
Because of the deep snow, firefighters could not initially find nearby fire hydrants and had to dig through the snow to find them, Tallon said.