KAYSVILLE — Four Kaysville police officers caught in a fireball while saving a suicidal man one year ago revisited the scene together for the first time Thursday.
“It brings you chills,” Sgt. Lacy Turner said while standing in the Chevron Top Stop at 320 W. 200 North. “Very lucky and very thankful and lucky that everyone is standing here with me and we all made it out.”
“Every time I show up here I think about that day,” said officer Robert Jackson. “It’s always going to have a place in my life. I still have scars from the incident that I see every day.”
About 2 p.m. on April 5, 2018, Tyler Ray Ivison, 26, of South Ogden, whom police described at the time as suicidal, walked in, purchased a gas can, then went outside to fill it up. He returned inside, went into a bathroom, doused himself with the gasoline and threatened to light it, police say.
Kaysville police officers responded to the 911 calls from the gas station with a McDonald's attached. Jackson, Turner, Lt. Shawn McKinnon and officer Cade Bradshaw all ended up in the bathroom with the man.
Dramatic surveillance video from inside the gas station showed the officers in very tight quarters near the bathroom, all trying to get a lighter away from the man. As the flames erupt, all five people are seen in the video trying to frantically get out of the bathroom. One officer is seen rolling out of the room as Ivison also falls to the floor on fire. Smoke quickly fills the store.
“(You) go into survival mode and everyone trying to get out of a tiny door way all at once,” said Bradshaw. “I feel lucky to be able to come back here and continue to serve.”
“The sound of the flames engulfing us; I don’t think I will ever forget,” Turner said.
Jackson suffered the most serious injuries of the four officers, receiving third-degree burns on both his calves and a second-degree burn on the back of his left arm from his wrist to his shoulder. Bradshaw also received several burns, while officer Turner and McKinnon were treated for smoke inhalation. Jackson spent a month in the hospital and a month at home recovering, while the others returned to duty in relatively short order.Comment on this story
Ivison was also seriously burned during the incident and was flown by medical helicopter to the burn unit at University of Utah Hospital. Ivison, 27, has pleaded not guilty in 2nd District Court to charges of aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; four counts of assault against a police officer, a second-degree felony; criminal mischief, a third-degree felony; and assault, a class A misdemeanor.
His next court hearing has not yet been scheduled, court records show.
The four officers formed a new kind of bond with each other through their experiences that day.
“They are my brothers. It’s amazing how close we’ve become in the last year,” said Turner.
“This incident definitely changed my outlook on life. Definitely don’t take things for granted anymore because you never know,” Jackson said.