SPANISH FORK While the red brick home smoldered and firefighters pulled down charred pieces of the ceiling, neighbors and friends wrapped the Cook family in hugs and homemade quilts.
"We're just trying to find places for them to live," said the family's LDS bishop, Daniel Geslison. "They're in shock right now."
Just after 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Alison Cook was in her home at 911 E. Sterling Drive when a fire started in the basement near a wood-burning fireplace.
"She tried to put it out then realized she needed to get out," said Spanish Fork Fire Marshal Joe Jarvis.
By the time Spanish Fork police officer Zack Adams arrived on scene minutes later, the entire basement was engulfed in flames, which were climbing up the north wall of the home toward the upstairs.
Cook wasn't injured and her husband, Steven, and their 14-year-old daughter Alana were not in the house at the time of the fire.
The home quickly became fully engulfed and firefighters fought flames in the basement, upstairs, front room and the roof. The blaze was knocked down in 15 minutes by nearly 20 firefighters from Spanish Fork, Salem and Utah County.
The home's siding had melted off and a bush near the front door was scorched. Windows in the basement were smashed out and black soot dusted the bricks near the roof.
Nearby homes were not damaged, but Jarvis had a fire truck with its ladder extended just in case the fire started to spread.
The damage to the home is estimated at $200,000, but that doesn't include any of the items the Cook family lost, Jarvis said.
Neighbors and members of the Cook family's LDS ward gathered in the street, hugging the emotional family and arranging meals and places to stay.
"I couldn't believe how many people have come to me ... and are willing to find them rooms, put them in (their) house," Geslison said. "We're making sure they have a place to stay, food to eat."
Alison Cook was examined in the ambulance but released soon after.Although the fire was initially believed to have started from an ember that popped out of the fireplace, officials discovered additional indications as they went through the house and will leave the final determination of the cause up to the state fire marshal, Jarvis said.
E-mail: [email protected]