Neighbors alerted by smoke jump in to help when house catches fire in Washington City

WASHINGTON CITY —A concerned neighbor called 911 Friday afternoon after noticing smoke coming from a fire burning on the side of a home.  By the time fire crews arrived the active flames were already extinguished by a group of neighbors who jumped in with garden hoses before the first engine arrived.

The side of a residence on South Alamosa Drive that sustains extensive damage from a structure fire in Washington City, Utah, Nov. 19, 2021 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Washington City Fire Captain Mike Harris told St. George News that just before the fire was reported, the homeowner was working in an outbuilding located behind the residence and was unaware of the fire burning on the side of the home. Moreover, he said, there were eight other individuals inside of the home when the fire started and all were able to get out safely before fire crews arrived.

Officers with the Washington City Police Department also responded along with a Gold Cross ambulance in case of firefighter injuries.

With the active flames extinguished, firefighters entered the home to check for fire extensions and found no fire inside of the home, only light smoke that was permeating throughout the interior of the residence, Harris said.

Officers cordon off street and Gold Cross Ambulance and crew stage at scene of structure fire reported at a residence on South Alamosa Drive in Washington City, Utah, Nov. 19, 2021 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Meanwhile, crews working outside doused the charred siding that continued to smolder until all burning embers were extinguished and the charred area was cooled down. It appeared the fire started towards the base of the siding and then spread upwards toward the eaves of the roof, just below a second-story window.

Harris said the siding sustained extensive damage and fire crews also discovered a water pipe that had burst during the blaze which caused some water damage to the ceiling, a section of which was removed during the overhaul that took place as crews continued to check for fire extensions.

Additionally, the siding sustained extensive damage as the fire spread through the space in between the interior and exterior walls, which also caused some damage to the drywall, while the smoke and water damage to the interior of the home was minimal.

Harris said that a neighbor was setting off for a bike ride when he noticed smoke coming from the home and called 911, while several other neighbors acted quickly, grabbing garden hoses and dousing the flames until the fire department arrived. The homeowner joined in the effort after he was alerted to the fire while working in the shop behind the home.

“The neighbors’ quick actions not only alerted the residents who had no idea anything was burning,” he said. “But they also jumped in to help and saved the home from further damage.”

The captain also said they located a trash can on the driveway where the fire appeared to have started, but added it was unknown if that had anything to do with the blaze, as the cause has yet to be determined, and no damage estimate was available. No injuries involving crews or bystanders were reported.

This report is based on statements from police, emergency personnel or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. 

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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