Business Owner Estimates $100K In Damage After 2-Alarm Fire In Salt Lake City

Nov 12, 2019, 5:30 AM | Updated: 1:47 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Fire crews worked late into Tuesday morning mopping up the scene of fire that burned two large semi tractors full of used clothing. The clothes were about to be sent other countries around the world.

The fire broke on the property of Exports Inc., 27 E. Coastville Ave.

“It’s a big loss, and these products cost us a lot of money,” said owner Hassen Soweidan.

He said his business buys used clothes in the United States and then sells them to countries in Africa, South America and the Middle East.

“This product came from the LDS Church” he said, pointing out the burned up trailers full of shoes and clothes.

The damage could be more than $100,000.

“We buy them by weight and we sell them by weight,” Soweidan said.

Salt Lake Fire Capt. Kyle Lavender said the department received multiple 911 calls at approximately 4 a.m. When KSL TV arrived, the flames were massive and firefighters were attacking the fire from all directions.

“This fire in particular was very stubborn,” he said. “With these bails of clothing and shoes, it’s just really difficult to get to the seed of the fire and really get it all out.”

“It just insulates itself really well and sheds the water,” Lavender added.

Firefighters had to dig through piles of products — especially melted shoes — to separate it out. Eventually, crews brought in a trackhoe to pull the semis apart and make sure the fire was completely out.

Soweidan said he’s glad no one was hurt, but he’s now having to make up for lost merchandise that was already sold.

“It’s going to delay orders, especially right now going into Christmas,” he said.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire. No injuries were reported.


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Business Owner Estimates $100K In Damage After 2-Alarm Fire In Salt Lake City