First Responders Reflect On Handling The Gun Range Fire

Sep 1, 2019, 6:46 PM | Updated: 6:50 pm

BOUNTIFUL, Utah – As families are getting back to their homes, many are thanking the heroic efforts of the first officers on scene who helped evacuate hundreds of families.

Officers from several agencies evacuated about 400 homes early Friday morning as the Gun Range Fire blazed.

Responding agencies that supported Bountiful and Centerville Police Departments included West Bountiful Police Department, Woods Cross Police Department, North Salt Lake Police Department, North Salt Lake Police Department, Utah Highway Patrol, and the Davis County Sheriff’s Office.

“So Officer Barrera and I just got done on a traffic stop,” Bountiful Police Department Officer Ian DuPape said.

It was supposed to be a night like any other.

“For Bountiful that night I had three officers out, not including myself, so four total for the entire city,” Bountiful Police Sergeant Andrew Smith said.

However, things quickly changed when a rookie officer spotted flames on the mountain warning the other officers in the area.

“I flipped around and came back and saw the fire coming down the hill, and as the fire was coming down the hill, it was going really fast,” DuPape said. “You have about 45 miles per hour westerly winds.”

“The time that I got up here to the time the structure started catching was probably 10 minutes or less,” Smith explained about the fire’s origination point.

Smith is an 11-year veteran. He was the incident commander directing officer efforts and evacuations.

The small crew of officers sprung to action informing other agencies but with no time to wait, took matters into their own hands.

“I drove up and I saw the fire going into the backyards of some of the houses so I told all the officers that were around me, let’s get all these people out,” DuPape said. “I’m telling them, ‘hey you need to leave you need to get out of here.’”

DuPape is a five-year veteran. He said he knocked on at least 50 homes early Friday morning to evacuate residents.

In one neighborhood, some homes were already on fire. Three homes were lost during the fire.

“We went into a cul-de sac where the fire was engulfing houses and I was fearful that some people might still be in their house,” DuPape shared. “So I kicked in a door on one house, went in with one of the highway patrol guys trying to find out if anyone was in and we didn’t find anyone but the smoke was so bad it was really hard for us to breathe so we just got out and kept knocking houses trying to get people out.”

“Going into structures with the house on fire, that is not something we are prepared to do as police officers,” Smith said.

However, officers had no time to waste.

“We don’t have the equipment or the tools but it shows how much my officers wanted to help people,” Smith said of his officers taking on the task of evacuating homes. “It makes me proud to work with them.”

“I was just scared people were inside sleeping and their house was on fire and at that point you just start kicking doors,” DuPape explained.

Today, standing from the fire’s origination point, DuPape thinks back on that day.

“I can’t believe all the acres that are burnt. There’s just no words,” DuPape shared, holding back his emotions. “I’m just grateful they were able to get out, you know, that they had an opportunity.”

According to Smith, no major injuries were reported. One officer was treated for smoke inhalation.



KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Karah Brackin

Utah Veterans head to Washington D.C. for ‘trip of a lifetime’

75 veterans left Salt Lake City for Washington D.C. Tuesday morning.
10 hours ago
Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, introduces himself as a member of a n...
Ashley Imlay, KSL.com & Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Supreme Court declines to hear Utah gun rights activist’s appeal to overturn bump stock ban

A prominent Utah gun rights activist has lost his bid to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the federal bump stock ban.
10 hours ago
Yvette Rodier, shooting survivor...
Amy Donaldson, KSL Podcasts

LETTER PODCAST: Victim says bullet wounds were easiest part of recovery

When Yvette Rodier woke up in a hospital, she knew, even before anyone told her, that her friend, Zachary Snarr, was dead.
10 hours ago
Housing construction....
Ladd Egan

Unaffordable Utah: Mortgage rates climb again as buyers look for price reductions

Utah's housing market is whiplashing as last year's buying frenzy seems to have slowed down to signs of a recession.
1 day ago
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: How cybercriminals use social engineering to get us to hand over our sensitive info

You can have the strongest, most secure password in the history of cybersecurity, but the bad guys know there is one weakness they can use to hack into your system - you!
1 day ago
The ground breaking of the High Valley Transit offices....
Carter Williams, KSL.com and Jed Boal, KSL TV

Utah’s newest transit system breaks ground on $26M new home

High Valley Transit broke ground on a new 61,277-square-foot facility that will house the transit organization's administrative and operations offices.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
First Responders Reflect On Handling The Gun Range Fire