Thursday, December 7

Crews fight massive overnight building blaze

Officials late Tuesday advised people to avoid the area.

(Salt Lake City Police Department) Salt Lake City fire crews respond to a massive blaze at an apparently unoccupied, under-construction building in Sugar House early Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. Salt Lake City police said officers assisted fire officials in securing the scene.

Dozens of Salt Lake City fire crews descended on a massive blaze at an apparently unoccupied, under-construction building in Sugar House late Tuesday.

The burning building was located just west of Highland Drive, south of 2100 South, and ignited sometime before 11:30 pm Tuesday, according to the Salt Lake City Fire Department.

Capt. Tony Stowe said crews believe no one was inside the building, which he described as a largely open-frame structure that seemed to still be under construction. The open-frame construction materials seemed to be rapidly feeding flames, making for a “very active” fire, he said.

About 70 fire personnel had responded to the massive blaze as of about midnight Wednesday, Stowe said, including three ladder trucks.

At the time, those ladder units were working in sync to shoot water up to 110 feet in the air, aimed at flames that could be seen spitting out from the building’s top floors, according to footage released by the department.

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“So far, it doesn’t seem to be extending to any lower floors,” Stowe said at about midnight of the blaze.

As a precaution, Salt Lake City fire crews began evacuating people from adjacent buildings as of about midnight as the “high-danger” fire continued to burn overnight, Stowe said.

Salt Lake City police reported at about 12:45 am that they were assisting fire crews at the scene.

At 11:11 pm, one Twitter user, Amanda Lee, posted a photo of the fire, taken from a building across from the scene. At the time, smoke could be seen pouring out from the opposing, open-frame structure, and a fire department vehicle could be seen stationed on the ground below.

Over the next 30 minutes, in subsequent Twitter posts, Read shared video of the growing firein which crews could be seen attempting to douse flames with water.

Attempts to reach Lee late Tuesday were unsuccessful. But Lee later reported on Twitter at about 12:50 am Wednesday that they had since evacuated from their neighboring vantage point and were OK, noting that embers could be seen falling in the area “even a few blocks away.”

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known. Police and fire officials overnight advised people to avoid the scene.

—This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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