Firefighter Injured, Nearby Residents Displaced Due To Sugarhouse Office Fire
Jun 13, 2021, 5:36 PM | Updated: Jul 5, 2023, 4:14 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — A firefighter was injured while battling an early morning fire at a three-story office building in Sugarhouse.
The fire broke out in the area of 1100 East and about 2400 South around 2 a.m. Sunday.
When crews arrived, the building was fully engulfed in flames.
Officials said the flames broke through the windows of a neighboring apartment complex, which resulted in the displacement of at least six people.
“When flames impinge right on glass, the glass will shatter pretty quickly and allow even more heat into the building,” said Capt. Davin Halvorsen with the Salt Lake City Fire Department.
Firefighters worked through the early morning hours to stop the flames from spreading onto the dry brush next to the highway, all while trying to establish a perimeter around the office building.
“Unfortunately, it’s a complete loss,” said Halvorsen.
Aftermath of 3-alarm fire in Sugarhouse. This is what’s left of a raised 2-story office building. At least 20 businesses (mental health providers) displaced, some were here 20+years. Adjacent apartment bldg. also damaged, displaced families. Power out 1-block radius. @KSL5TV pic.twitter.com/65NtIget8o
— Garna Mejia (@GarnaMejiaKSL) June 13, 2021
Business owners still processing the loss said they were not yet ready to speak on camera, but they told KSL-TV the office building housed several small practices specializing in mental health services.
“One person reported as many as 20 small businesses and one business has been here for several decades,” said Halvorsen. “That I know of, for sure.”
Halvorsen said there was enough damage done by the fire that SLCFD had to move to a campaign phase Sunday afternoon.
“We’re trying to transition from the response to the recovery phase of this incident, and it’s going to take a lot of man hours,” he said.
Also on Sunday, firefighters had to face sweltering outdoor temperatures.
They were forced to rotate crews and work shorter cycles inside the 100+ degree rubble.
“The heat slows us down, so when we have structural firefighting turnouts on, and we’re in there in the middle of the heat moving heavy debris and dragging heavy hose lines, we might only be able to work 15-20 minutes at a time, then we have to take a break,” said Halvorsen.
That’s why firefighters asked everyone to do their part and help them out.
“Firefighters can do a tremendous amount of work, but we’re people,” said Halvorsen.
One firefighter was taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
Around 5 p.m., crews said they were still working to restore power, which went out in about a one-block radius, adding that there were four power poles that needed to be replaced.
Firefighters also said they wanted to thank the representative from Salt Lake Regional Hospital that brought them pizza.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.