Firefighters had to break through walls and floors of an Avenues home Saturday morning before they were able to locate and extinguish a blaze that began in a fireplace chute.
"We had to literally tear the house apart to get to the fire," said Salt Lake Battalion Chief Jim Kleine. "You seldom see a fire like this."Neighbors reported seeing smoke coming from 68 C St. about 10 a.m. "I looked out and said, `It looks like fog coming down the street," said Jane Stromquist, a neighbor.
"All there is is smoke and heat and you can't see the fire," said Kleine. Firefighters were unable to locate the blaze for 15 or 20 minutes because it was burning in the walls and in a crawl space.
"For a single-family dwelling, this was probably one of the most complex fires I've seen," he said. Damage to structure and contents was estimated at $75,000.
The couple living in the house said they lit a fire in the fireplace Friday night. Investigators believe the house fire began from embers that may have fallen into a defective fireplace chute beneath the house.
"(The residents) were smelling a woody, smoky smell this morning," he said, but they thought it was just because of the fire from the previous night.
Kleine said firefighters used nearly 50 air tanks, five times more than average. No one was injured during the fire, he said.