Utah family watches home burn 16 years after similar tragedy

Apr 14, 2022, 10:54 AM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 1:14 pm

HUNTSVILLE, Utah — A Utah family had to watch in the cold dark this week as a fire gutted their home, forced to remember when they faced similar events in 2006 in the same spot.

“I escaped in a pair of pajamas 16 years ago and that’s what I was wearing last night,” resident Dave Jenkins said. “The house that stood here before this house, well, it got enflamed and burned down.”

Jenkins and his wife had gone to bed when they realized there were flames in their home. They called for help and fire crews responded but could not save the home. Jenkins said this blaze started in the chimney as one member of the household was going to have enjoy a fire in the fireplace and watch television that evening.

Instead flames were in the chimney, exiting by the mantel, starting the blaze that claimed the home and virtually everything in it. Jenkins doesn’t believe the home is cursed but he joked with his wife there wouldn’t be a fireplace in their next home.

“How do I feel? Overwhelmed,” he said Wednesday.

Weber Fire District Deputy Chief David Reed said crews from multiple departments were dispatched to the home, located near 7500 East and 200 South, around 12:30 a.m. Crews saw the roof was fully engulfed with flames and part of the roof had already collapsed into the structure.

All of the home’s occupants were safely evacuated as firefighters went defensive from the outside until they could contain it. Jenkins said firefighters had trouble getting water from hydrants in the neighborhood.

The family said it rebuilt after the previous fire and will do that again.

“Obviously we’re not going to leave a smoking hole in the ground.”

They also had positive things happen in the midst of a terrible tragedy. They were able to get a hard drive out of the home that contains all the family’s photos and Jenkins said the people in the community have put the family on their backs.

“Instead of it being a tragedy, maybe it was an opportunity,” Jenkins said.

A GoFundMe account has been started to help the family recover from the blaze. You can see it at: https://gofund.me/04d6bbda

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Utah family watches home burn 16 years after similar tragedy