Apartment fire leaves residents homeless

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Dozens of residents are out of their homes after fire damaged an apartment building in Midvale Saturday morning.

Firefighters say the fire started at the Brighton Place Apartments at 145 West and 6905 South around 8 a.m. Residents were alerted to the fire by some unsung heroes.

Two teen boys ran through the building alerting people to get out because the structure was on fire. Residents of all 24 units evacuated without injury. But the fire severely damaged the building, gutting the middle section. As many as 24 families won't be able to return home for awhile.

At least one person thanks two teenagers for the fact that no one was injured. Alan Cook said, "When I came out the flames and the smoke were so great."

Cook is one of those residents who got out as fast as he could. He says he only woke up because a couple of teenagers made sure no one was asleep.

"Bless their hearts. These teenage boys were running to every apartment and not just banging on the doors, but going back repeatedly. They are heroes," Cook said.

By the time fire crews got to the apartments, flames and smoke were already coming through the roof.

Resident Brian Botts heard the fire then saw it. "I heard an explosion, went out and looked around. I saw smoke rolling over the building. That's when I knew it was time to get out," he said.

Fire crews say early phone calls to 911 talked about a popping noise. Investigators are working on that tip, trying to figure out what started it all.

No matter what the cause, residents are happy they got out of the building. Rick Bird said, "We just got a knock on our door to get out of our apartment, there's a fire."

Battalion Chief Warren James with the Midvale Fire Department says it may take a day or two before investigators find out what started the fire.

In the meantime, residents who lived in the now-burned homes can stay in other apartments throughout the complex. The Red Cross also was on scene offering those families assistance.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com


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