Sandy police officers praised for quick actions during overnight apartment fire

Mar 5, 2023, 6:14 PM | Updated: 6:15 pm

SANDY, Utah — Two Sandy City police officers are being praised for their quick actions to get people out of a burning apartment complex and keep the fire from worsening.

Sandy City first responders said it happened just before 3 a.m. Sunday morning at the Liberty Heights Apartments complex at 8176 South 1300 East.

An officer was in the area, saw smoke coming from the balcony, and then called in other units, who arrived within minutes. Two Sandy City police officers ran up the second and third floors of the 12-unit apartment complex.

“They got there first and started knocking on the doors just trying to notify people to get them out,” said Ryan Mcconaghie, Sandy City Fire Deputy Chief.

The officers found one apartment that appeared to be the one where the fire was coming from. They busted down the door to make sure no one was inside. Luckily, it was empty.

“I understand that is how they were both hit pretty hard with the smoke inhalation,” said Sgt. Greg Moffitt with Sandy City police.

It didn’t take long for the first fire crews to arrive.

“It happened to be right next door to Sandy Fire Station 35,” Mcconaghie said. “So the crews just pulled on out to the apron, took a left, and they could see smoke and flames coming from the second-floor balcony.

The damages of the fire at the Liberty Heights Apartments (Sandy Fire) The damages of the fire at the Liberty Heights Apartments (Sandy Fire) The damages of the fire at the Liberty Heights Apartments (Sandy Fire) The damages of the fire at the Liberty Heights Apartments (Sandy Fire) Fire crews arriving at the Liberty Heights Apartments fire. (Sandy Fire)

Multiple agencies followed, including Unified Fire, South Jordan, Draper, and Murray. The weather made it tough for crews to battle smoke and flames coming from the second-floor balcony.

“It did destroy the apartment that it started in. Next door, upstairs,” Mcconaghie said.

Crews spent most of the day cleaning up debris. With eight apartments suffering fire, smoke, and water damage, the local Red Cross helped three families find a temporary place to stay.

While everyone got out safely, two firefighters had minor injuries. One person was taken to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation – including the two brave officers who jumped in and saved lives.

“What these officers did was heroic. We’re proud of them,” Moffitt said.

Mcconaghie said their fast response made a big difference.

“Had that been unnoticed for even just minutes longer? It could have resulted in fatalities,” he said.

One officer was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon. Moffitt is hopeful the other one, a 20-year-veteran, will be released soon to recover at home.

Investigators are still looking into what exactly caused the fire.

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Sandy police officers praised for quick actions during overnight apartment fire