3 Homes Destroyed, 1 Damaged In Garden City Fire Fueled By Propane Explosions

Aug 23, 2020, 10:07 AM | Updated: Aug 24, 2020, 12:04 am

GARDEN CITY, Utah – Three homes were destroyed and a fourth was badly damaged after a fire fueled by propane ripped through a mobile home park on the south side of Bear Lake in Rich County.

The fire broke out around 8:55 p.m. Saturday at 3199 Nina Loop in the Sweetwater Trailer Park in Garden City.

“Ever since we came up here, the biggest thing I was afraid of was fire,” said Joann Sorenson, whose home was badly damaged.

Chief Mike Wahlberg with the Garden City Fire District said the fire began at one of the homes.

Witnesses reported hearing propane tanks exploding. Wahlberg said the fire appeared to be fueled initially by the propane, causing it to quickly spread to three neighboring homes.

“I’m surprised it didn’t take out all these houses in this whole area,” Joann said.

“It’s a freak accident,” said Chief Wahlberg. “It wasn’t negligence or anything.”

Officials said the first home and two others were consumed by the flames and destroyed. The fourth home caught fire and sustained damage, but crews were able to fight back the flames.

A fifth structure that also caught fire received minor damage.

“I was surprised to see ours still standing,” Joann said. “I thought ours was one of the ones that was totally burned.”

Wahlberg said there were several large explosions as multiple propane tanks at the homes burned, as well as several smaller explosions.

The blasts were large enough to shake the ground. The explosions were seen and felt from several miles away.

Officials said the fire was under control by 11:30 p.m.

Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

“My thanks to you,” said neighbor Jolene Fuller to the first responders. “You did save a lot more homes than were destroyed, and how you did it is a mystery.”

“This weekend, there was nobody here, so thank goodness,” Joann said. “We’re just lucky.”

And that is more than enough to puts things into perspective.

“I cried a lot last night, but it’s okay. We’re just thankful that nobody was hurt,” she said.

At least 30 firefighters and 8 engines were called to the scene from the Garden City Fire District, Laketown Fire District and Bear Lake County Fire Department.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Firefighters estimate damages are upwards of $250,000.


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3 Homes Destroyed, 1 Damaged In Garden City Fire Fueled By Propane Explosions