Dozens evacuated as massive fire engulfs former motel in Richfield

Nov 21, 2022, 10:22 PM | Updated: Nov 22, 2022, 3:13 pm

RICHFIELD, Utah — A former motel in Richfield, which was recently converted to low-income housing, is a total loss Monday night after a massive fire tore through the building.

Flames erupted at Ville 647 — located at 647 S. Main Street — at approximately 7:30 p.m. Monday.

The roof collapsed later that night.

Crews from several agencies were there all night managing hot spots and investigating the damage.

As for the 70 people evacuated, KSL has learned two of them were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

All that can be replaced. Life can’t be,” said Faatz.

Janalee Jeffery, who lives just blocks from the old motel, sent us video showing the flames and smoke.

She said when the fire started, it was small, but crews say within an hour, the building was a complete loss.

Richfield has a volunteer fire department.

Mayor Bryan Burrows said roughly 40 firefighters responded and 20 law enforcement from surrounding cities and Sevier County.

“The flames at the top of the building are a story and a half tall compared with the rest of the building,” Jeffery said.

Fire has been a huge concern for city leaders with this building. It was purchased recently by an investor and turned into low-income housing.

In just the last couple of weeks, the city rezoned the building under the conditions the owner would bring it up to code.

Burrows told KSL this is the exact type of thing he and his constituents were concerned with.

The 70 people evacuated are now at the fairgrounds in the exhibition hall.

“The Sevier County Fairgrounds was offered as shelter to all those displaced, and food is being provided by the LDS Church. The Red Cross has also been contacted, and is responding for further assistance,” read a Monday evening press release from the Richfield Police Department.

Burrows said this is frustrating and discouraging, adding that the first priority tonight is the people, then they will figure out what comes next.

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Dozens evacuated as massive fire engulfs former motel in Richfield