Apartment fire displaces 4 families in Orem

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OREM - An early morning fire at an Orem apartment Tuesday forced four families out of their homes.

Investigators say the damage to the building at 843 North Main Street is the result of an unattended cooking fire. Residents say it started in the kitchen of a corner apartment sometime during the night.

"I just heard things breaking, and it turns out to be a fire so we just ran out," said resident Louis Perez. "We just told them to get out of the house because there was a fire."

Apartment fire displaces 4 families in Orem

Orem firefighters first got the call that smoke was coming from the corner apartment around 3:15 a.m. By the time they made entry, flames were coming from the kitchen.

Chief Ryan Peterson of the Orem Fire Department said, "It appears the stove was left on last evening and the occupants had gone to bed."

It took firefighters about 10 minutes to put out the initial flames. About an hour later, the fire rekindled between the wall and the brick veneer.

"We couldn't access it from the interior of the structure which then required us to remove the brick from the exterior in order to get to that location of the fire," said Peterson.

The four families that live in the four-plex watched as firefighters went in and out of their apartments, hoping they too could go back inside.

After further investigation and a few more hot spots, firefighters determined the structure for was unsafe.

Apartment fire displaces 4 families in Orem

"The lower unit is going to be a complete loss. The other units have suffered structural damage due to our investigation and extinguishment for the extension," said Peterson.

The building's owner says a disaster team would be coming later in the day to assess the damage to the building. The owner says they will then start repairing it right away.

The American Red Cross is helping to find the displaced families food, clothing and shelter.

E-mail: spark@ksl.com


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