GRANTSVILLE — The State Fire Marshal’s Office is now looking into what caused a fire that destroyed a clubhouse and its contents at a shooting range in Grantsville.
North Tooele Fire District Public Information Officer Ryan Willden says Big Shot Ranch’s physical location, which lacked access to water, was the greatest challenge for firefighters.
Willden says firefighters responded to the structure fire at 6711 Higley Rd around 4:30 Monday morning. He says an alarm company alerted the owner, who was out of town, of the issue. The owner then called for help. Willden says about two dozen firefighters from both North Tooele Fire District and Grantsville worked tirelessly despite the loss of the building. “It’s too common for fires like this in rural areas where we arrive on site and there’s not enough water,” he said.
Willden says a typical fire engine can carry 300 to 500 gallons of water. In this case, they needed about 40 times the amount, at least 20,000 gallons of water. He says they had to keep re-filling a big tender truck which can still only haul up to 10,000 gallons of water. “They have to travel a fair ways out near Grantsville to get water, so it’s a pretty big shuttle and that’s been our biggest challenge,” said Willden.
This problem isn’t anything new, said Willden, who noted the loss of another gun club in Tooele a few years ago and the struggle fighting the fire at a chicken coop in Tooele County back in September. “One of the things we’re starting to require as a fire district is that when people do build commercial buildings that they do have a water supply on site,” said Willden.
According to Big Shot Ranch’s website, the shooting range offered “unique firearms experiences for corporate events, social gatherings and private groups.” It says the clubhouse was a place for trainings, billiards, a fully equipped kitchen and the armory. Willden estimates the fire damage to be about $350-400,000. “It’s always a struggle and we do the best we can with what we have, but it’s a challenge for sure without water,” he said. We’ve reached out to the owner for comment, but have not heard back.
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