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Team Coverage A South Salt Lake fourplex is destroyed after an enormous overnight fire. It happened near West Temple and 2100 South.
According to South Salt Lake firefighters, the building is a total loss. While the walls are still standing, it's really just a burnt-out shell.
This was a dangerous fight for firefighters--dangerous enough they had to pull back during the attack. The moment the first fire truck arrived, around 2:30 this morning, it was clear that putting this fire out would be a battle.
"We had a lot of fire on the first floor and it extended to the second floor," explained South Salt Lake Fire Deputy Chief Kevin Bowman.
Smoke was billowing from the vacant, locked-up fourplex. It came out the front door, from the roof, and out of the windows, too.
Firefighters first thought was, ‘Is anyone inside?' "They did go in there and started to search, but they were overcome pretty quickly with a lot of fire," Bowman said.
A situation so dangerous, firefighters feel they could only attack from the outside. It took hours for them to put this out.
It took until morning to safely start an investigation. Luckily, no one was in the home. "There's nobody in there, we've searched everything. We've got all the fire and hot spots out," Bowman said.
Fire investigators have no idea how the fire started. The complex was locked and vacant but still had utilities on. Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that a homeless person may have started it.
"Well, with a lot of homes around this area that are vacant and abandoned, it's very likely there could be transients in any of them. We've had some fires in these last few weeks that have been transient fires," Bowman said.
For now, the fire is considered suspicious. Investigators are looking at video Eyewitness News shot this morning that shows a 4-door sedan driving by the fire before the fire department arrived on scene. Investigators don't know if it means anything, but they say they're just covering their bases.