ST. GEORGE – One man is homeless after escaping from a smoke-filled home early Wednesday from a fire that firefighters said began at the kitchen stove.
St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said the occupant of the house, located in the The Cottages South subdivision at 2015 W. Canyon View Drive, awoke around 1:20 a.m. from the chirping of a smoke alarm and ran to a neighbor’s house to call 911.
When fire crews arrived at the scene, Stoker said, they saw a large amount of smoke billowing through the front door and from attic vents.
They went in and dealt quickly with the fire in the kitchen, yet heavy smoke remained in the attic. Firefighters tore down the ceiling in the kitchen, family room and entry area of the home in order to get to the rest of the fire.
“The fire spread across the entire attic space of the home,” Stoker said. The origin of the blaze was a grease fire in the kitchen. The occupant had been using the stove and mistakenly thought he had turned it off, instead turning it all the way up, Stoker said.
“It ignited (the fire) and then went up and burned a lot of cabinets over the stove completely out,” Stoker said. The fire then ran into an air conditioning vent and then hit the trusses in the attic. The blaze then burned up into the peak of the house.
“It eventually did burn through the roof in one section of the home,” Stoker said.
KrisAn Craig, who lives across the street, said the lights of the firetrucks woke her up around 2 a.m. When she looked outside to see what was going on, she saw the neighbor’s house on fire.
“There were flames shooting out the side at the (neighboring) house,” Craig said.
Though the fire ultimately caused extensive damage to the home, firefighters were able to keep it from spreading to nearby structures.
Fire crews remained at the scene until 4:30 a.m. when it was determined the fire was completely out and operations had mopped up.
“They did a very thorough job,” Craig said, adding that the active fire had been “quite terrifying to watch.”
It’s likely the entire roof and kitchen may need to be replaced, the fire chief said, adding parts of the home where they fire hadn’t reached sustained smoke and water damage. Estimated damages are between $120,000 and $130,000.
The man, who was renting the home, was supplied with a place to stay by the Red Cross, Stoker said. No injuries were reported in connection with the fire.
Stoker said the incident was a good reminder to have working smoke alarms in homes.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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