WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Fire crews were met with heavy smoke at the Aspen Pines Apartment complex in West Jordan around 5 o’clock Saturday morning. Crews worked quickly to identify the source of the flames and evacuate residents.
“The fire had started in the wall and extended into the attic space,” said West Jordan Fire Department Battalion Chief Bryen Crump.
Two apartments experienced heavy smoke damage as the cause of the fire began between their walls. Crews had a tough time locating the fire but were able to put out the flames within thirty minutes. Most of the apartments on the second floor suffered smoke damage, while those on the bottom had mostly water damage.
“Due to there being structural damage both to the exterior walls and roof truces our building officials declared the structure is unsafe to be in at this time,” added Crump.
Now twelve families, about 30 people, are left without a place to live fortunately the families had some relief in the form of the Red Cross who arrived on scene immediately after the fire broke out.
“Today was fortunate for a lot of those families, they had insurance, they had a place to go, but again there were three families who had really no place to go,” said Rich Woodruff with the Red Cross.
Case workers sat down with each family to figure out their next step. Most family’s had insurance and a place to stay while their homes are cleaned up. The Red Cross helped place three families in hotels for the time being, the apartment complex also helped out.
“The apartment complex was very accommodating and they found temporary apartments for some of these people that had been displaced,” said Woodruff.
Right now the damage is estimated between 80-100 thousand dollars. Officials say while some residents had working smoke detectors many did not, and were caught by surprise when crews entered their homes.
“that’s the one thing we found in this apartment complex not everybody had working smoke detectors, so we had to force doors to get in and wake people up to evacuate, so not everybody had smoke detectors working and functioning properly,” said Crump.
Fortunately, all residents were evacuated in time and no one was injured during the fire.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but crews believe it was an accident and do not suspect arson.