SLC fire says open flame cause of fatal apartment fire

May 31, 2022, 10:43 AM | Updated: 9:16 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Fire Department said the cause of a fire that left one dead and five injured was personal smoking materials too close to an oxygen source.

“Do not smoke or have any type of open flame or heat ignition source anywhere near your medical oxygen or any other type of oxygen for that matter,” Capt. Shaun Mumedy with the Salt Lake City Fire Department said.

The fire’s cause explains why many residents said they woke up to a large exploding noise around 2 a.m. when the fire first broke out.

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

The booming sound would have been the oxygen cylinder exploding.

“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.”

“It’s pretty rare,” Mumedy said of the explosion. “Oxygen cylinders in any shape or form are very generally safe when used properly, when they’re kept away from incendiary devices or open flames.”

The fire broke out at 243 S. 300 East and now 13 residents are displaced without access to their belongings. Of the two residents that were injured, Mumedy said that one was treated for burns to their hands and that the other is still in critical condition in the burn unit.

The fire department said smoke detectors were sounding an alarm and helped people escape the old building—which does not have a fire sprinkler system.

“At the time this specific building was built, sprinkler systems were not required by code,” Mumedy said. If older buildings undergo a renovation, Mumedy explained, they would be required to comply with current building codes.

“Our Fire Prevention Bureau does great job of making sure that what buildings that don’t have sprinkler systems are in safe condition,” Mumedy said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

FILE: A UTANG KC-135, modified with Real-Time Information in the Cockpit and gateway technologies, ...
Josh Ellis

Utah Air Nat’l Guard airman dies during routine deployment in Guam

A Utah airman assigned to the 151st Air Refueling Wing died Tuesday after suffering a medical emergency in Guam.
10 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Police: One dead, suspect in custody after shooting in St. George

Police say a man was shot and killed following a domestic violence incident in southern Utah.
10 hours ago
Mike Anderson and Annie Knox, KSL TV

Watch: Newly released video at center of push to tighten Utah bear chasing rules

Videos of a bear collapsing after being chased by dogs helped build the criminal cases against two houndsmen. Now a prosecutor is releasing them as part of a push to limit how and when hounds can be used to track down Utah’s black bears.
1 day ago
The suspected crashed car in a brick wall in Millcreek. (Courtesy: Serena Chavez)...
Michael Houck

Suspects in traffic stop crash into wall, police say

Two people are in custody after fleeing from police and crashing into a wall Wednesday evening.
1 day ago
(University of Utah)...
Eliza Pace

Cameras found in bathrooms at U of U student life center, suspect in custody

University Police took a suspect into custody after they found two cameras in different bathrooms at the University of Utah Student Life Center.
1 day ago
[FILE] Jail Handcuffs (KSL-TV)...
Michael Houck

Utah man pleads guilty to child pornography charges in Virginia

A Cedar City man has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges after sending explicit videos to an undercover FBI agent in Virginia.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
SLC fire says open flame cause of fatal apartment fire