SALT LAKE CITY — Eleven people were left without homes following a pair of fires at the same apartment complex Tuesday within four hours of each other.
Just after 6 p.m., fire was reported at a seven-unit apartment complex, 406 N. Center Street (120 West). All residents were able to get out safely, said Salt Lake fire spokesman Jasen Asay.
The fire reached the attic and crews were forced to cut holes in the roof to air it out, Asay said.
Firefighters thought they had the fire knocked down at one point. But just after 10 p.m. it sparked up again, he said.
"When fires are up in the attic they can kind of hide and create embers and smolder, and we think that's what happened. And later in the night when the wind started to blow — we had cut holes in roof, and that had introduced a lot more air to it — so the fire started up again," Asay said.
Both fires caused an estimated $250,000 to $300,000 in damage. The third floor suffered heavy fire damage and part of the roof collapsed, he said.
The cause of the fire was determined to be an electrical malfunction in a window air conditioning unit on the third floor, Asay said.
Whether the building could be repaired or will have to just be knocked down was still being evaluated Wednesday.