West Jordan family displaced after Valentine’s Day garage fire

Feb 16, 2024, 6:18 PM | Updated: Feb 19, 2024, 7:48 am

WEST JORDAN — A West Jordan family’s life changed for the worse on Valentine’s Day after a garage fire destroyed their dream home.

“We want to come back and have our normal life,” Manuel Garnique said.

Manuel Garnique and his wife bought their home on Strada Crest Way three years ago. They lived at the house with their two daughters.

“I like the location. I like the garage,” Garnique said.

But behind the garage door, his dream was clouded in smoke on Wednesday evening. Manuel said he discovered a small fire burning towards the front of the garage. Within moments, the entire area was engulfed in flames.

“It took less than five minutes,” Garnique said. “I tried to grab the extinguisher, but when I saw the flames getting bigger and bigger, we just hurried and got out.”

Fire crews at the home when the fire happened.

Fire crews at the home when the fire happened. (KSL TV)

Everything inside the garage was lost, including the family’s two cars, which were essential for the couple’s jobs. Both are home health nurses.

“We use them to travel from home to home,” Garnique said. “Right now, we’re just dealing with insurance. Trying to get things moving and insurance takes forever.”

Garnique was also working on a project car in the garage, a 1976 Datsun 280z, which was also destroyed in the fire.

He thinks the fire started at the front of the garage. Garnique said there was a gas can, a camp heater, a snowblower and a gas-powered garden trimmer stored nearby, but none were immediately identified as the source.

The Garniques West Jordan home boarded up after the fire.

The Garniques West Jordan home boarded up after the fire. (KSL TV)

Garnique said officials also haven’t ruled out electrical or vehicle fires as possible starters. According to West Jordan Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Trevino, the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

As Garnique takes in all the damage, he isn’t sure what to make of the cause, but he is grateful for one thing.

“I’m just grateful that we’re OK, the house is destroyed — I don’t care,” Manuel said.

A GoFundMe* has been established to help the family.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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West Jordan family displaced after Valentine’s Day garage fire