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Investigators say South Salt Lake fire started accidentally

Posted - Jul. 5, 2010 at 10:48 p.m.


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SOUTH SALT LAKE -- An apartment fire in South Salt Lake sent a woman to the hospital Monday afternoon, with burns over about 10 percent of her body. Fire investigators say they believe the fire started accidentally.

The fire broke out around 2 p.m. at the Mission Meadow Brook apartment complex near 3900 South and 800 West. Firefighters found the woman unconscious on the floor of her living room and had to pull her to safety.

"She was unconscious. They had her by the arms and legs and just carried her down the stairs. She was in a bad way," witness Nathan Caldwell said.

Home video provided by Ben Little shows the fourplex completely engulfed in flames.

A woman who lives in the building said she was taking a nap at the time and heard a lot of noise outside.

"I went to run out the front door, and I opened it a little bit and I saw the fire out there, so I jumped out my bedroom window," she said.

The woman said she twisted her ankle and hurt her wrist in that fall, but she was checked out by emergency responders at the scene and released.

The woman who had to be rescued by firefighters was flown to the hospital. She was originally reported to have been burned over 40 percent of her body, but doctors later determined here burns weren't that severe.

As of Monday night, the woman was listed in critical condition. Doctors had her heavily sedated and were treating her for carbon monoxide poisoning as well as her burns.

Fire investigators say they found several items outside the fourplex that they believe could have started the fire, including firework remnants, matches and a candle. They say the fire was accidental, and they're continuing to investigate the exact cause.

Obviously, no one can go home to the burnt amounts right now. Firefighters say some things in the lower apartments are salvageable, but the upper apartments are pretty much gone.

The Red Cross is assisting the victims of the fire.

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Story compiled with contributions from Jennifer Stagg and Sarah Dallof.

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