‘You could hear it just crackling’: Residents are thankful for firefighters quick response

Jul 5, 2022, 6:30 PM | Updated: May 21, 2023, 4:41 pm

CENTERVILLE, Utah – It’s safe to say Shirlene Maughan is a big Los Angeles Dodgers fan.

Her welcome mat is Dodger themed, and she’s proud of her limited-edition Sandy Koufax mini statue she recently received.

“He was the best,” she said. Maughan has cheered for them since 1955 and it’s rare for her to miss a game.

“Yes. I listen every night,” she said with a laugh.

However, two nights ago, she was cheering for another team. And for one very good reason.

“They were there so quickly. They were fast,” Maughan said. “It was around midnight. I was still up and noticed the glow on my window, so I knew it was fire. Immediately.”

Maughan lives in Centerville, close to the foothills. Not only did she see the Deuel Creek Fire moving faster than a double play, but she also heard it.

“It was like you had a little fire right here. You know how you hear it, crackling like a little campfire? You could hear it just crackling,” said Maughan.

Maughan was one of dozens of people evacuated because the flames were a little too close to home.

“I had a 72-hour kit, which you’re supposed to have,” she said.

Fortunately, the winds kept shifting the fire away from homes.

Crews were quickly on the ground to dig a containment line and fight the fire.

“When you have homes right there, there’s a bigger risk. When you have a fire out in the middle of nowhere, your firefighting tactics might be a little bit different. Still, the priority is human life,” said Kim Osborn, the public information officer for the Deuel Creek fire.

Even with warning signs throughout this neighborhood, investigators believe this one started because of fireworks.

No homes were burned, and evacuations were lifted within a few hours, but fire crews say this fire is an example of how dry conditions are right now.

“We need everybody’s help with this,” Osborn said. “The same thing with parking your vehicle on dry grass. That doesn’t take that long to start on fire. We need to be careful when we’re out and about, especially right now with the fireworks.”

Although things are pretty much back to normal now in Centerville, Maughan will continue to cheer for firefighters putting out hot spots, as well as her Dodgers, hoping both teams keep winning.

“Then you get to celebrate at the end because it was so close,” she said.

As of Tuesday evening, the Deuel Creek Fire was 76% contained and had burned 129 acres.

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‘You could hear it just crackling’: Residents are thankful for firefighters quick response