House fire for American Fork family for the second time

Aug 16, 2023, 8:14 PM

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — A family is unsure how to move forward after a fire destroyed a huge chunk of their property. Though the blaze wasn’t their fault, this isn’t the first time they’ve had to deal with something like this.

Tuesday morning’s fire impacted three properties, burning two buildings and heavy equipment.

One of those buildings belongs to the Dickersons.

It’s clear by looking around they’ve put a lot of time and energy into home projects. They’ve spent more than a decade making the space their own.

Blaine Dickerson pointed out brick above a historic fireplace in the living room.

“We exposed the brick,” he said. “Finished the walls, put these beams in and I like it is the first thing that you see when you walk into the house.”

In the dining room area, he explained how he used his table saws and miter saws to cut the wood that he used for the painted accent wall with a raised wood design.

“It was a fun project to do in the shop,” he explained.

Walking out the back door though, Blaine no longer has a shop to work in.

The hobby artist who spends his free time building and creating instead has to stare at a mangled building, which wreaks of smoke.

A knock on the door awoke the family at 2:30 am Tuesday and saw a guy standing outside.

“He’s yelling, ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!’ And he’s pointing,” Blaine recounted. Blaine ran outside and said his neighbor was already out back trying to put out the flames with a garden hose. But by then, a garden hose was no match for the inferno.

Video shows Blaine’s large workshop burning as cracks and pops break out from inside. American Fork Fire shared video of firefighters working to put the blaze out before it spread to Blaine’s home.

The fire, which the fire department believes started near or on the neighbor’s property, destroyed Blaine’s shop and charred some of his home’s siding. He estimates he lost somewhere around a quarter of a million dollars in machinery, equipment, and supplies.

“The shop is one thing, and it’s an emotional thing for me. That’s hard. I’m connected to the shop,” he said.

He and his wife Heidi talked about how hard it is to deal with this, especially a second time.

“It doesn’t seem real that it’s happened again,” Heidi said.

Standing in the dining room, Heidi held up an iPad with photos from when their house caught fire a decade ago.

“It [started] in the garage, and it went up through the attic,” she explained.

The couple said a hidden electrical panel from the previous owners caused the fire. They had just purchased the house and had to rebuild.

All the couple can do now is focus on the good.

“There’s been so much love and support, like, they’re reaching out to us, and everyone’s asking how they can help,” Heidi said, as tears welled in her eyes. Before knowing what help looks like, “We’ve just got to figure out what we need to do next, you know?”

The Dickersons aren’t sure whose insurance is responsible this time or what it’ll cover. Especially because this fire was not their fault and didn’t start on their property.

The American Fork Fire Department is still figuring out the cause of the fire.

In the meantime, Blaine’s shop sits in shambles. But the couple isn’t focusing as much on that.

“I’m just glad our family is safe, and the kids were safe,” Heidi said.

They’re still grateful the house is okay, even if they have to rebuild again.

“I gain an opportunity,” Blaine said, “to rise from the ashes again.”

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House fire for American Fork family for the second time