ST. GEORGE — Several people were displaced following a fire that blazed through a home and engulfed four vehicles early Saturday morning.
St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker told St. George News that they received the call about a house fire at 3251 S. 2950 East just before 1 a.m. Saturday morning.
“I believe it was the homeowners that called it in,” Stoker said, adding later that they had become aware of the fire when the smoke alarms started going off.
St. George Fire Department, St. George Police and Gold Cross Ambulance responded to the scene. Stoker said when they arrived, there was fire in the garage and in the attic, and the roof above the garage had already collapsed.
There were four vehicles that caught fire: two in the garage and two parked in the driveway. All four of them were totaled.
Between 12 and 14 people were in the house when the fire started, Stoker said, which included multiple families living at the house as well as some guests.
“They were all out of the home when we arrived,” he said, “and they were missing two dogs and a hamster. Two dogs were recovered that night and they were OK. And then they actually found the hamster in his cage the next morning, and it was alive too. Everything survived.”
The families who are displaced have been able to stay at a hotel where one of the displaced people works, Stoker said, at least for a couple of nights.
“The police department asked them if they wanted the Red Cross, and they denied needing the Red Cross. They said they did have a place to go,” Stoker said.
The estimated property damage stands at about $700,000.
“That’s with the home, the four cars, and then all the furnishings in the house,” he said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. As of right now, Stoker said it appears the fire started in the garage or exterior to the garage and then spread up into the attic.
The fire was fought from the exterior due to the advanced stage of the fire. Stoker said it appeared that the fire had been burning in the attic before anyone noticed it.
There are houses located on either side of the home as well as to the rear.
“So our concerns were protecting those exposures. We mainly fought it from the outside. There were a couple areas where we had to go in just to pull some ceilings to get into what was remaining of the attic.”
The house is unlivable. All utilities have been shut off.
Stoker said this serves as a good reminder for all people to make sure they have an evacuation plan and working smoke detectors.
He also encouraged people, especially in cases where there is a big group, to make sure everyone is accounted for.
“Our first priority is life safety, so if we can get on scene and people have accountability and make sure everyone is accounted for, that makes our plan of attack and our situation, that helps us on what direction to go.”
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