MIDVALE, Utah (ABC4 News) – One person is in the hospital with injuries and a Unified police officer was treated for smoke inhalation after multiple agencies responded to a 2-alarm house fire in Midvale Wednesday.
Unified police say a 51-year-old man lit a cardboard box on fire and brought it inside the home.
“Something happened this morning that set him off-balance. We could not get this gentleman to calm down with us, he was very uncooperative with us, and unfortunately he had to be tased so we could get him the medical attention that he needed for the injuries he sustained, as well as getting him into custody for the fire,” said Det. Jared Richardson with Unified Police Department.
Police say the man has a history of mental health issues and at least one other person was home at the time of the fire.
“He crawled out of a basement window that’s behind me,” said Tim Pulley.
Witnesses say the scene was chaotic, and even a first responder required medical attention.
“I saw a Unified police officer being treated for smoke inhalation, receiving Oxygen and then an older gentleman receiving treatment,” added Pulley.
Police say the house was engulfed with flames and multiple agencies, including Unified Fire, Murray, Sandy City, and West Jordan responded to the call.
Fire officials say all agencies worked to together efficiently to extinguish the flames rather quickly.
From the street the garage had extensive damage. The door completely ripped off and materials were still smoldering as investigators were looking into the cause of the fire. One of the front windows was broken and smoke could be seen inside the home.
Initial reports estimate the damage at $100,000, and the home is uninhabitable at this time.
“Fire investigators are currently inside making those determinations as well, but the entire house has smoke or flame damage,” said Desmond Johnson, a paramedic for Unified Fire.
Police say no one else was injured and the officer who was treated is expected to be OK. Police say they will wait for the man who started the fire to be released from the hospital for their investigators to determine what to charge him with and whether to book him into jail.