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One dead, five injured after downtown SLC apartment fire

May 30, 2022, 5:41 AM | Updated: 9:45 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Firefighters say one person is dead and five were injured after a fire broke out in a downtown Salt Lake City apartment Monday morning.

Crews responded to the building, located on 300 East between 200 and 300 South, around 3 a.m.

Battalion Chief Dan Walker with the Salt Lake City Fire Department said two civilians were injured in the fire — one was hospitalized in serious condition while the other was in stable condition.

Officials said three firefighters suffered minor injuries during the response.

Witnesses reported seeing and hearing a large “explosion” at the apartment before the fire broke out, and investigators said the fire’s cause was unintentional.

“It wasn’t a banging, it was an explosion,” Lee Knowlden, who lives in the building next door said. “We felt the walls shake.”

“It was like two o’clock in the morning and me and my dog were sound asleep and we heard this huge explosion. It sounded like an atomic bomb,” Sam Cottrell, who lives on the second floor of the building said. “I thought it was the end of the world but I looked out the window and I saw nothing but orange so I just grabbed my dog and got out.”

Cottrell said he’s lived in the building for 16 years and that it’s a close-knit community.

“By the time we got out here it was just raging—both levels,” Cottrell said.

Firefighters worked in a cold downpour to battle the flames that were coming from a first floor apartment and spreading up the front of the building.

“I could feel the heat from the sidewalk,” Knowlden said.

Fire crews said the flames were extinguished before 8:30 a.m.

Residents from 13 apartment units are displaced and don’t have access to their belongings.

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One dead, five injured after downtown SLC apartment fire