TAYLORSVILLE — A raging house fire killed a 25-year-old man and sent his father to the hospital with injuries and smoke inhalation Thursday in Taylorsville.

The blaze started about 9 p.m. When firefighters arrived, fire was coming out of every window of the house, which is located near 3200 West and 4890 South.

Neighbors first learned of the fire when they heard a woman screaming and pounding on the outside of the house.

They soon learned two men were trapped inside, said neighbor Heidi Hafen. Some neighbors went inside their homes to call for emergency help while others went for a ladder and tools to help the trapped men.

Soon, the older man jumped out of a two-story window at the rear of the house, neighbors said. He told the waiting crowd that his son, Slade Easterbrook, was right behind him.

But the younger man never jumped.

"I don't know why, he should have," Hafen said between sobs.

Firefighters arrived and tried to enter the house but found the floors had collapsed, said Unified Fire spokesman Chad Simons. They continued to fight the blaze from outside the house.

More than 60 firefighters swarmed the neighborhood, taking turns battling the flames. The house was mostly obscured by massive amounts of white smoke, but every few minutes orange flames could be seen licking the inside walls.

All of the home's windows had broken and the neighborhood had filled with smoke within 40 minutes of the start of the fire.

The home belongs to Connie and John Easterbrook, according to neighbors. John Easterbrook, 62, was taken to the hospital, they said.

About 50 neighbors and curious onlookers stood on nearby sidewalks watching firefighters work. One neighbor sprinkled salt on the sidewalks to help people avoid slipping on the ice created by the fire-hose runoff.

About 10:30 p.m., firefighters spotted the body of a man in his 20s through a window, Simons said.

Officials planned to remove the body after firefighters were able to find a safe way inside, Simons said. Fire investigators will also have to be present when the body is removed.

By 11 p.m., fire officials had no idea what caused the fire. Putting out the blaze and investigating the damage to the house would likely last into this morning, Simons said.


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