MIDVALE — A 19-year-old man and his dog escaped serious injury Tuesday morning after their garage and the back side of his house became fully engulfed in flames.
Firefighters say strong winds fueled the fire at 8036 Wood St. (55 West) and threatened a home immediately to the north that had to be evacuated.
The fire was reported about 5:50 a.m. Neighbors knocked on the door where the man was sleeping in the basement, said Unified Fire Capt. Cliff Burningham. The neighbors were able to wake the man and he and his dog got out safely.
The fire started in the garage and spread to the home. The garage was a complete loss along with a pickup truck that was inside, Burningham said. There was also "substantial" damage to both the exterior and interior of the rear portion of the house.
"There was a huge amount of fire," he said.
Because of the strong wind, the house immediately to the north of the burning structure had to be evacuated for fear of the fire spreading. At least one tree caught fire.
Total damage estimated for both the home and vehicles — including a second truck and a camper parked outside the garage — was estimated at $100,000. It took crews about 30 minutes to bring the fire under control.
Burningham said the blaze was a good reminder of why changing the batteries in smoke detectors this time of year is important.
The house that burned was for sale. The man was sleeping there to take care of the house as the family attempted to sell it.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.