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Big Cottonwood Canyon fire destroys $3M cabin

(Derek Petersen/KSL-TV)

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Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON — A large cabin was destroyed in an early morning fire Tuesday.

Unified fire investigators estimated the loss of the 6,000-square-foot structure at $3 million.

The fire was reported by a neighbor about 4:30 a.m. The cabin was located near Solitude's Silver Fork Lodge.

The first arriving crews found heavy smoke and fire coming from the attic area and a large covered porch, said Unified fire spokesman Rob Morley. Investigators believe the fire had been burning for some time before it was reported. It quickly engulfed the entire house, forcing crews to go into a defensive mode, he said.

The cabin owners live out of state and use the cabin as a second home, Morley said. They were reportedly last at the cabin about three weeks ago.

What started the fire was unknown Tuesday, but Morley said investigators were "not leaning toward anything suspicious at this time."

The fire presented several challenges for firefighters. The steep, icy roads caused several firefighters to slip and fall. At least one had to be transported to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries, Morley said.

The icy roads also prevented the fire engines that responded from stations at the bottom of the canyon from getting very close. The fire engine stationed in Big Cottonwood Canyon is taller and has four-wheel drive and was able to get the closest. Other firefighters, however, had to hike up to a quarter-mile to the scene to use water from that apparatus to put on the fire, Morley said.

There was also a problem crossing some of the bridges to access the cabin, he said. The bridges were not built to withstand the weight of a firetruck and could not be crossed.


Pat Reavy


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