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Fire Destroys Family's New Home

Fire Destroys Family's New Home



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Tonya Papanikolas Reporting A family's brand new home in Holladay is reduced to rubble. The family had moved into the house only three days ago.

The fire started shortly before noon on Sunday. By Sunday night, fire officials had a theory about what started the fire. They told us insulation most likely fell behind the fireplace and caught on fire. The flames then spread to the attic.

When KSL 5 arrived on scene, flames were coming out of the roof. At one point firefighters had to pull out and attack it from a defensive position.

Fire Destroys Family's New Home

Bob Helm, who lives behind the home, said, "For the first 15 minutes they sort of had it contained. Then the whole roof sort of went, except what you can see is left."

Crews did extinguish the fire, but the home was destroyed.

Chad Simons of the Unified Fire Authority said, "While inside, the mother heard some popping and crackling noises. Then they caught a light smell of smoke about the time the smoke detectors were going off."

Fire Destroys Family's New Home

The mom, dad and teenage son all were inside when the fire started. They got out safely and moved the cars away from the house.

Libby and Collette Hayes are their neighbors. "We were walking down this street," Libby said, "and all these flames went up. We were really scared and stuff."

Collette added, "The roof went up, and flames were shooting maybe five to seven feet in the air."

"It was awful," Libby said. "All the smoke was out in the street. You could barely see anybody."

"Everybody was trying to rush into the neighborhood just to make sure their kids were OK," Collette told us.

Fire Destroys Family's New Home

At first, smoke and fire were only visible from the back of the house.

When the first group of firefighters arrived, they went inside without their air masks because they didn't see any flames. But they quickly realized the attic was engulfed. And it didn't take long for the flames to spread.

"The wind swirled, and it just took off, the whole thing. It's real tragic," Helm said.

Fire Destroys Family's New Home

Helm watched the roof melt and then collapse piece by piece. "It's really sad," he said. "The house was finally filled in and it looked like a nice, big extended family. Now there's not much there."

Firefighters say though the situation is extremely sad, they're happy the home had working smoke detectors.

Simons said, "They did a good job of listening to their smoke detectors, got out when they went off and didn't stop to think about if it was a dead battery or not."

Fire Destroys Family's New Home

Neighbors are glad no one was hurt. "At least they're OK," said Libby Hayes. "I mean, they could have lost a family member."

Neighbors were trying to get some clothing together for the family. Firefighters told us the family does have relatives in town that can take care of them.

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