'We don't want to get hit by a bullet': Crews respond to Sandy fire containing ammo, gunpowder

A detached garage containing raw gunpowder and ammunition caught fire Thursday in Sandy, leading to a hazardous situation for responding firefighters.

A detached garage containing raw gunpowder and ammunition caught fire Thursday in Sandy, leading to a hazardous situation for responding firefighters. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)


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SANDY — A detached garage containing raw gunpowder and a "significant amount" of ammunition caught fire in Sandy on Thursday, leading to a hazardous situation for responding firefighters.

"Those were firing off, so we immediately went defensive," said Sandy Deputy Fire Chief Ryan McConaghie.

This, combined with the fact that the garage was located behind a home and in a corner of the property, complicated manners.

"We're not going to go into the structure ... but even another layer of defensive because we don't want to get hit by a bullet. We're kind of taking cover behind hard objects, obviously staying on the outside, trying to spray water where we can to hit the fire. It just makes the job tougher," McConaghie said.

Though the process was delayed by the exploding ammunition and gunpowder, McConaghie said the approach was "the smarter way to do it," adding that no firefighters were injured.

McConaghie said that the home wasn't affected by the fire and all residents were unharmed.

The garage, however, is a "total loss," with McConaghie estimating it to be around $300,000 in damage.

The cause of the fire is unknown and currently under investigation.

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Logan Stefanich is a reporter with KSL.com, covering southern Utah communities, education, business and tech news.

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