HOBBLE CREEK CANYON — Three firefighters were injured after being trapped for 15 minutes Friday when a ceiling collapsed on top of them as they were fighting a house fire.
“Incredibly scary. That was the longest 15 minutes of my year,” said Utah County Deputy Fire Marshal Randy Crowther, who was part of the team that went into the burning structure to rescue the three men.
But because of the heroic efforts of firefighters and police officers from several agencies who ran into the fire to free the men, all of them are expected to make full recoveries. One police officer was also injured during the rescue and was hospitalized.
“It took a lot of bravery, a lot of effort and a lot of courage to do what they did this morning,” Crowther said, praising the efforts of the rescuers.
Just before 4 a.m., a homeowner and his wife at 1526 S. Hobble Creek Haven Road were awakened by the sound of their overhead sprinklers turning on. Crowther said the sprinklers are required for homes in the remote, mountain area.
The sprinklers, he said, had turned on in the area of a wood stove used to heat the house.
Firefighters “found a fire in the chimney pathways associated with that stove and other utility flues that go all the way from the basement to the attic,” Crowther said.
The couple got out of the house safely. When fire crews arrived, they started attacking the fire from both the inside and outside of the structure.