SALT LAKE CITY — An overnight fire at a downtown apartment building displaced one family and left three residents with minor burns, fire officials said.

About 1:45 a.m. Sunday, crews responded to apartment fire at 176 N. Main. They arrived to find the building already being evacuated by a pair of Ogden firefighters who happened to be in the area, said Salt Lake City Fire Battalion Chief Clair Baldwin.

The men were on their way back to Ogden after transporting a patient to University Hospital, Baldwin said. The Ogden firefighters were the first to report the fire. They then began helping people out of the building in the area of the fire.

"What they did … made a real big difference in the outcome tonight," Baldwin said.

Investigators say the fire likely started on the outside of the building on the second floor, though they weren't sure Sunday what caused it.

The fire worked its way up the outside of the four-story building, causing "fairly significant damage" to the top floor, Baldwin said. Units on other floors sustained some smoke damage, he said.

Because the fire started on the outside of the building, smoke detectors didn't alert residents to the fire until it had reached the inside of the building and then those residents helped to alert others. Baldwin said there are no sprinklers in the individual units of the building, which he estimated was built in the 1920s.

Crews evacuated between 30 and 40 people from the building, he said. The Red Cross is assisting the family displaced by the fire.

One of the people who sustained minor burns was transported to an area hospital. The two others refused treatment at the scene, Baldwin said.

It took 12 units and about 50 firefighters to the blaze under control.

Jared Page