Firefighter injured, at least 2 businesses total losses in WVC strip mall fire

Jun 6, 2024, 7:46 PM | Updated: 10:22 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY — A firefighter was injured, and at least two businesses were declared total losses Thursday due to a 3-alarm strip mall fire.

Witnesses told KSL TV the fire broke out around 5:45 p.m. at El Pollo Royo on 4616 S. 4000 West.

“The first thing I noticed, it was the smoke coming out of the ceiling tiles and when I went outside to inform the restaurant, ‘Hey, you know, there’s a fire. When I came back inside, I saw the flames up in the ceiling. I could see flames in the ceiling tile,” said Omair Rehman, owner of neighboring Lucky Mart.

Rehman said he quickly gathered some of his belongings and fled. He just opened the convenience store in September.

“We were still struggling with the business and this happened today,” he said. “It was pretty sad.”

Bystanders watch first responders working on the fire.

Bystanders watch first responders working on the fire. (KSL TV)

West Valley City Fire Chief John Evans said it appeared everyone got out of the businesses safely.

He said at least two businesses were total losses, while 10 were evacuated and impacted in some way.

According to Evans, the first units arrived within four minutes of the call, and the fire was already well into the roof. He said firefighters began attacking the fire from the roof, but that eventually proved too dangerous.

“When the fire gets a jump on you, the roof starts sagging. You can’t put anybody up there,” he said. “We were up there for as long as we could, but you know what, you’ve got to get off when it starts sagging like that.”

West Valley City firefighters using a fire engine to take down the fire.

West Valley City firefighters using fire engines to take down the fire. (Marielle Scott, Deseret News)

Evans confirmed a firefighter was injured and was transported to the hospital in good condition.

The cause of the fire was still unknown late Thursday as crews continued to work the blaze.

“It’s pretty, pretty sad, and (I’m) still in shock,” Rehman said. “I’m glad, like, everybody’s safe, nobody was inside and evacuated.”

West Valley City firefighters on the parking lot of the strip mall.

West Valley City firefighters in the parking lot of the strip mall. (KSL TV)

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Firefighter injured, at least 2 businesses total losses in WVC strip mall fire