Quick-thinking Residents Evacuate Neighbors From Apartment Fire

Aug 27, 2019, 1:04 PM | Updated: 1:26 pm

MILLCREEK, Utah – Investigators have determined a fire that ripped through an apartment complex – leaving dozens of people displaced – was human-caused.

They also discovered it was an accident.

The fire broke out Monday before 6 p.m. at the Driftwood apartments near 3900 South and 700 West.

Unified Fire Authority officials said nearly 60 people were displaced, about 20 whom are children. However, there were no injuries thanks to a couple of residents who banged on doors to evacuate everyone before fire crews arrived.

“I did what anybody else should have done,” said resident Jessie Casarez. “I couldn’t picture any of my neighbors coming out in body bags. Unfortunately some pets didn’t make it, but lives were saved.”

Authorities said 14 apartments were evacuated. Twelve of those apartments are unlivable.

Fire investigators have determined it was a human-caused accident that originated from an apartment on the second floor balcony.

“Initial crews could see the smoke header from blocks and blocks away as they were approaching,” said UFA Spokesman Matthew McFarland. “Even before they got here, these residents were banging on doors in this building, making sure their neighbors and friends were getting out safely.”

“That’s huge,” he added.

Officials said the estimated damage is $500,000 to $750,000. Residents of two apartments that sustained minimal damage will be able to return home either Tuesday evening or by Wednesday after repair work.

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Quick-thinking Residents Evacuate Neighbors From Apartment Fire