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Fire destroys Centerville lumber store

By Jennifer Stagg | Posted - Jul. 26, 2010 at 9:30 p.m.


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CENTERVILLE -- A four-alarm fire destroyed a Centerville lumber store Monday evening.

The fire broke out just before 6 p.m. at Colonial Building Supply, which is located at 530 N. 400 West.


"It's a shame. It's been here for years, and supplying wonderful service to many, many people." Richard Uhl, Centerville resident

"This is quite a spectacle," said South Davis Metro Fire Chief Jim Rampton. "This probably could be seen for miles, the smoke coming off this building."

It was just about closing time for the business, when someone noticed smoke coming from the attic. But firefighters knew the moment they arrived this would be a tough one to contain.

"[As far as] building construction materials, as you can tell right up front, there are propane bottles, there are forklifts in there that have propane on them; there's paint thinners, there's paint, there's all sorts of flammable and combustible materials inside this building," Rampton said.

In less than an hour, the entire store was ablaze. Fire departments from five cities worked from high and low, but no matter how much water they sprayed, the flames didn't want to go out.

Dozens of onlookers stared in disbelief as the Centerville mainstay went up in flames.


Bad things come in threes. He lost his son-in-law about five weeks ago -- his only daughter's husband -- and a niece just last week. And he said with this, it can only be better from here.

–Scott Keller, owner's brother-in-law


"It's a shame. It's been here for years, and supplying wonderful service to many, many people," said area resident Richard Uhl.

"This is such a tragedy for a family that's so well loved," resident Susan Schulthies said.

Just outside the yellow tape, a group of family members huddled and watched crews try to save their business, while the owner, Fred Hale, rushed back from Wyoming.

"Bad things come in threes," said Scott Keller, Hale's brother-in-law. "[Hale] lost a son-in-law about five weeks ago -- his only daughter's husband -- and a niece just last week. And he says with this, it can only be better from here."

When Hale arrives, he'll find his store is a complete loss, but his brother-in-law says he'll find a way to rise above the ashes.

"He says all we can do is rebuild, and that's his attitude," Keller said.

Crews were able to stop the flames from spreading to the warehouse, but the store itself is a complete loss. Investigators have not yet found a cause.

There were no reports of injuries.

E-mail: jstagg@ksl.com

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Jennifer Stagg

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