Two firemen were injured Saturday morning in a fire that caused at least $75,000 damage to a Salt Lake east-side house and forced two families to look for shelter elsewhere.
The fire broke out about 8:30 a.m. in the basement apartment of the house at 1203 E. Seventh South. Nearly 30 Salt Lake firefighters were called to the blaze, which was controlled shortly after 9 a.m. Firefighters worked another 90 minutes venting the home of smoke and dowsing hot spots.According to investigators, the blaze started on the stove in an apartment rented by the family of Michael Mouton, who was at work when the disaster struck.
Mouton's wife and two small children got out of the house safely as the fire spread rapidly.
"I think our cat's still in there," said Mouton, who knelt in a neighboring yard to watch the firefighters. "It's just a kitten. I hope it got out."
Mouton said all his family's valuables were inside the home. "My camping gear is in the garage. But that's it."
Flames spread quickly from the basement apartment to the apartment above, then to the attic. The blaze then swept across the attic.
"It's gutted the basement," said Battalion Chief Gordon Nicholl. "And there's going to be heavy fire and smoke damage to the rest of the house."
Nicholl put a preliminary structural damage estimate at $75,000. "But it will probably be higher once you start counting all the contents."
Firefighters Jim Hansen and Kirk Fagg were taken by ambulance to Holy Cross Hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
Hansen was cleaning out a window and pulling tiles from the ceiling when a piece of glass fell down, cut through his glove and sliced his hand, said Battalion Chief Jerry Duke.
Kirk was pulling hoses inside the house and twisted his ankle when he stepped on some debris that had fallen on the floor, Duke said.
The American Red Cross assisted the Mouton family in finding temporary shelter while they look for a new home. A second family that lives in the house found shelter elsewhere.