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Car in garage the cause of 3-alarm fire in Draper


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DRAPER -- A Draper family stood by Wednesday morning and watched as their house went up in flames.

The fire destroyed the garage, the second floor and the attic. Parts of the home weren't affected by flames, but water damage and smoke damage on the main floor and basement is so bad that investigators say the home is a total loss.

The fire started at around 4 a.m. near 1100 East and 13600 South. The family inside was awakened by smoke detectors, and when the father smelled burning rubber he got his family out of the house and called 911.

"[I] looked out my window and I see, like, flames coming up, so I was like, 'This is real.' And then I started smelling the smoke and I was like, 'I need to get out of here.' So, kinda ran out, grabbed our dogs and got out of here," said Josh Tracy, a teenager who lives in the home.

Tracy continued, "When you notice it's the fire, your heart just starts rushing. You're like, you know they do those drills in school where they're like, ‘What would you grab?' And you almost don't have time."

Neighbor Lee Floyd said, "I heard explosions. It started in the garage. When I looked out there was a lot of fire in the garage, and it expanded very, very rapidly."

He and other neighbors rushed to help.

Next door neighbor Lynn Lamb told KSL, "[I] came out, saw the flames. [I] ran over and as I got there, the family was coming out of the house. We were all yelling making sure everything was out of the house. Then I grabbed a garden hose. By that time, there was no ability to put it out."

Lamb was able to help by backing some of the family cars away from the burning garage.

United Fire Authority Capt. Clint Mecham said the fire started in the garage and quickly spread to the attic of home. That's where firefighters spent most of their time battling the flames, but they were able to get the fire out thanks to the manpower and resources involved in a three-alarm call.

Tracy said he was just happy no one got hurt, "We pretty much lost everything in the top floor. You just lose so much. You don't know where to begin. Start over. It will all be good."

Authorities say a car in the garage started the fire. They think a fire started in the engine compartment and then spread.

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Story compiled with contributions from Courtney Orton and Andrew Adams.

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