15 Residence Displaced After Apartment Fire; 2 Firefighters Injured

Jun 20, 2019, 5:57 AM | Updated: 1:06 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Fifteen residents were displaced after a fire broke out at an apartment complex Thursday morning.

The incident happened just before 4 a.m. at the Jefferson School Apartments, 1099 S. West Temple.

The American Red Cross is assisting 12 of the 15 tenants whose apartments were impacted by the fire. Officials said two others are stopping by the Red Cross office and one resident declined help.

Salt Lake City Fire Department officials said when they arrived, flames were going up the side of the building and through the roof. Some residents were already self-evacuating.

“We came and saw fire on one side of our building, and we quickly started knocking (on) doors,” said resident Mejeeb Mohibeen.

Others resident were woken by firefighters banging on their doors, leaving no time to change but enough time to get out among the chaos.

“I heard someone pounding on my door, and then I smelled a ton of smoke,” resident Taylor Merrill said. “When I looked outside of our front door, there was smoke everywhere and people running around. So I just grabbed my roommate and my dog and we just got out.”

According to SLCFD, 12 apartments were impacted, six with significant damage and another six with minor damage. The fire started on the third floor.

“Debris just started to fall off,” said Chelsea Rodriguez. “They tried to get it, but then it just got bigger. They called more fire trucks and more fire trucks but they got it.”

Firefighters knocked out the fire fairly quickly, but not without the challenges of making sure everyone got out safely. Two firefighters received minor injuries when part of a ceiling collapsed on them.

More than two hours later, residents were able to return to their apartments to gather belongings.

Fire investigators are still working to determine what sparked the fire in the first place.

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15 Residence Displaced After Apartment Fire; 2 Firefighters Injured