Find a list of your saved stories here

Closed door credited with saving woman's life in Utah house fire

A home in Sandy caught on fire and the fire was extinguished on Monday. One person was transported with minor injuries from smoke inhalation. The fire seems to have started in the rear of the house and the cause is under investigation.

A home in Sandy caught on fire and the fire was extinguished on Monday. One person was transported with minor injuries from smoke inhalation. The fire seems to have started in the rear of the house and the cause is under investigation. (Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)


8 photos
Save Story

Save stories to read later


Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — A woman escaped unharmed from a house fire in Cottonwood Heights by staying inside a closed room Monday, Unified Fire Authority said.

The fire began around 3:45 p.m. on the exterior of the home on Alpen Way. According to Unified Fire Authority spokesman Ryan Love, the fire reached upwards of 1,000 degrees inside the home.

Love explained that fire crews from Cottonwood Heights and Sandy were alerted to a structure fire inside a single-family dwelling with upwards of 34- to 40-foot flames and that there was a trapped victim inside. He said that they had to "think quickly on their feet."

"We initially attempted to do what is called an unprotected search so that we could rescue the victim as quickly as we could," Love said. "We did not have a hose line with us as we entered the structure. Unfortunately, we were met with a wall of flames … that made us retreat, grab our hose line and knock out the fire prior to reaching the patient. However, in doing so, it stabilized the environment for that patient. Knocking down the flames helped release some of the heat within that structure."

Love said firefighters found the woman in an isolated room with the door shut and she was completely protected from the flames. They kept her in the room until they could extinguish the surrounding fire enough for her to safely exit.

"Stuff like this doesn't happen often," Love said. "This is why we train so hard; it's for these small instances where life is at risk, and where we will always be ready to make that call and make that rescue."

Love said that the woman was sent to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation out of precaution. He said her story serves as an important example to people.

"Closing a door is extremely vital and could save someone's life, and did save someone's life today," Love said. "Most people's instincts are to escape as quickly as possible, and oftentimes that works. We always suggest for people to know two ways out of their structure in case one is closed off or trapped. In this scenario, this person was not able to evacuate on her own, so she did the next best thing which was to close the door. She's walking away from this instance untouched because of it."

The cause of the fire, which Love said began on the back side of the deck, is still under investigation.

Photos

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics

UtahSalt Lake County
Arianne Brown has been a contributing writer at KSL.com for many years with a focus of sharing heartwarming stories.

STAY IN THE KNOW

Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast