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Fire burns 11 apartments in Holladay


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HOLLADAY --

To passersby, the nearly 20 fire trucks and other emergency response vehicles that lined 1300 East near 4500 South in Holladay late Monday afternoon may have appeared an overreaction as there was no evidence of a fire on the outside of outside any of the four apartment buildings.

But fire was burning in between the walls, officials said.

Unified Fire responded around 4 p.m. to a fire in one 12-unit apartment building. The fire began in the first floor in the walls separating apartments, Unified Fire Capt. Cliff Burningham said.

According to Capt. Burningham, the fire is still under investigation, but construction work was apparently happening in one of the units and may have sparked the blaze.

Capt. Burningham said the fire was been difficult to extinguish, and burned from the first to the third floors, and possibly even the attic. It burned primarily in the walls between units, and the "concealed and void spaces, according to Burningham. Because of this, the fire is both less apparent from the outside, but much more "labor intensive."

"It was downstairs," said Kory Hamilton, 28, an apartment resident. "It went through the walls, so everybody got damage. The smoke just flowed in."

Between 20 and 30 people were estimated to be displaced, Burningham said. The Red Cross reported it was providing assistance to 19 people. The fire was declared out before 6 p.m.

Fire officials coordinated with the Red Cross to help shelter the occupants of the 11 affected units for the evening.

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