Draper House Fire Leaves One Woman Dead, One Boy Injured

Jul 23, 2019, 5:44 AM | Updated: 8:10 pm

DRAPER, Utah – An early-morning house fire in Draper sent a young boy to the hospital and took the life of his grandma on Tuesday.

“(It’s) horrible – horrible to know you were there and the house was on fire, and you know somebody was still in there and you couldn’t get to them,” long-time friend and neighbor Jenny Orgill said. “It hasn’t hit them, for real, that she’s gone.”

The fire department identified the woman who died as 61-year-old Shelly O’Meara. An autopsy was being completed to determine the exact cause of death.

Orgill heard the sirens from police and firefighters race through her neighborhood sometime before 1 a.m. She ran outside to see the log home she’s visited countless times up in flames.

“It was lit up,” she said. “I mean it was lit up.”

“This was really challenging right from the start,” Draper Fire Chief Clint Smith said.

He said the difficult response began on the way to the fire when first responders had to make a detour around construction on 13800 South. That was followed by a hunt for the nearest fire hydrant and then finding the two-story home on fire down a narrow dirt road.

And then firefighters heard “there was concern that there may be one still unaccounted for,” Smith said.

Crews quickly determined there were five people at the home when the fire started: a mom, dad and their two children who all made it out alive. But their 6-year-old son was hurt and needed help and his grandmother was still missing.

“Horrible, horrible, horrible to hear a 6-year-old in so much pain from burns,” Orgill said, adding that it’s “nothing anybody can ever forget.”

But Orgill will also likely never forget her friend, the boy’s grandmother who died, and whose initial screams Orgill said alerted the rest of the family to get out of the house when the fire started.

“She saved their lives,” Orgill said. “If she would not have woken up and yelled for them. That fire spread so fast being a log cabin, and they would not have made it. I don’t believe they would have made it out.”

The 6-year-old suffered burns and inhalation injuries and was transported by helicopter to the University of Utah burn center.

A police officer and a firefighter had to be transported to Lone Peak hospital due to heat exhaustion and overexertion. Both have since been released.

“As you can tell, we’ve had some very high temperatures,” Smith said. “It’s just not cooling off very much at night.”

The home is located about 1,000 feet down a dirt lane off a road that’s under construction, authorities said. This made it difficult to access the site and secure a water supply. Smith said the fact that it was a log home made it even more difficult to battle the blaze.

He added the weather also impeded firefighting efforts.

“We have this high pressure that’s sitting over us that doesn’t allow for the smoke really to escape the area very well,” he said. “It just hampered the efforts of those first-arriving police officers.”

Smith said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

KSL TV’s Ladd Egan and Alexis Pineiro contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

A destroyed home in Ukraine...
Kiersten Nunez

Local nonprofit aims to fix lost homes in Ukraine

The nonprofit August Mission hopes to raise enough money to rehouse Ukrainians who lost their homes during the conflict against Russia.
24 hours ago
A barbeque caught on fire at house in Sandy....
Michael Houck

Barbeque fire catches Sandy house on fire; displaces family

A barbeque caught on fire, causing a 2nd alarm house fire in Sandy Sunday evening.
24 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (Idaho State Police/Facebook)...
Michael Houck

Kearns woman killed in two vehicle crash in Idaho

A Kearns woman has died after being hit by a car while on a motorcycle in Idaho Saturday.
24 hours ago
Iron County Search & Rescue responded to a injured mountain biker at Boulder Dash Trail. (Credit: I...
Michael Houck

Search & Rescue crews help an injured biker near Cedar City

Iron County Search & Rescue helped a mountain biker who needed help after getting hurt on a trail Saturday morning near Cedar City.
24 hours ago
A minor apartment fire on 761 So. 300 E....
Michael Houck

SLC Fire crews take down a minor apartment fire

Salt Lake City Fire crews responded to a minor apartment fire Sunday afternoon.
24 hours ago
Utah's state Route 24 on June 23, 2022. (NPS)...
Larry D. Curtis

Flood watch over popular Utah recreation areas Sunday

A flood watch is in effect over central southern Utah, through Sunday night, as thunderstorms create potentially dangerous conditions.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Draper House Fire Leaves One Woman Dead, One Boy Injured