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Crews battle 3-alarm fire at Clearfield businesses

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CLEARFIELD -- Crews from four different agencies battled a 3-alarm fire that has all but consumed two different Clearfield businesses and injured two people.

According to North Davis Fire Chief Roger Bodily, the flames broke out after an explosion at the ClearSky Biofuels building at 400 West 200 South around 11:30 a.m.

The building was consumed by fire and has since collapsed, quickly spreading to a second building nearby. That business -- called The Cartel -- is an automotive garage and was in the process of collapsing, according to Bodily.

Two people were injured, but the chief didn't know the extent of their injuries.

Gary Clark, one of the owners of Clear Sky Biofuels, was in the building with his business partner and one employee. He was sitting at his desk when the explosion went off.

"We heard a boom and saw flames shoot past our doorway," he said. "I couldn't believe it was happening."

For a moment, they said, it was surreal -- especially as they watched the business they've put their all into go up in flames.

We heard a boom and saw flames shoot past our doorway. I couldn't believe it was happening.

–Gary Clark

"You see this stuff on TV, you never think it can happen to you. Then all of the sudden, the whole thing went up," Clark said. "I'm sitting in my chair wondering if I should stay put or run to the door."

He said he and the two others quickly exited the building in time to see "the whole thing go up."

Firefighters from Clinton, Sunset, Syracuse and Layton were on the scene. They poured water on the blaze, but they couldn't keep the fire from spreading to the auto repair shop next door.

Steven Spacil took over that business a few months ago to help pay medical bills for his wife and daughter.

"We're just a couple of guys trying to be people's friends and fix people's cars," he said.

He isn't sure what he will do now, that his business is gone.

"This was a last chance for me," Spacil said. "I'd pretty much put all that I'd had into it, so I don't know if I've got the stuff to start over again. I'll have to see what's left in there and go from there."

Investigators will now begin the process of determining what caused the fire.

Clark said they were not processing any of the used cooking oils they use at the time.

"All the equipment was off. We don't know what happened," Clark said.

He said his employee had some "flash burns" on the backs of her legs and that his partner fell, hitting his head.

Bodily said there is no damage estimate at this time, and determining the cause could take days.


Story written with contributions from Emiley Morgan and Sam Penrod.


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