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Wasatch County
Heber, Midway and Wasatch County

No Injuries From Wednesday's Timber Lakes Fire

Wasatch County Fire District responded to a fire in the Timber Lakes area on Wednesday. There were no injuries but significant damage to the home.

 On Wednesday the owner, a Salt Lake City resident, was visiting his second home in the Timber Lakes area to the East of Heber. Wasatch County Fire District Public Information Officer Janet Carson says the man was there to have some work done on his place.


“He had the propane company come up and relight his furnace for him, and was doing some maintenance things,” Carson said. “Out on the backside of his home, he noticed smoke and flames. He called 9-1-1 and it looped up into the top level of the home. It was a three-level home, and so it's fully engulfed when we arrived on the scene. So, we didn't go in until we were able to knock it down. Then we entered up from the top on the third level to put the fire out, but it was pretty extensive damage. So he did have some things down on the main level that was salvageable, but it was quite a substantial amount of damage.”


Neither the homeowner or any firefighters sustained any injuries from the flames. The structure received significant damage although the extent is not fully known. Photo’s shared by the fire district paint a bleak picture of the damage. Despite appearances Carson notes that the building was not a complete log home, but instead had a log façade around the structure.


While propane issues have been linked to fires over the past two years in the Timber Lakes area, Carson says they’re not sure what caused the fire at this time. 


“The propane tank was intact, it was on another side of the house from where the fire did start,” Carson continued. “An officer arrived pretty quick and he was able to safely shut the propane off, so that we could get in there safely but there was no explosion. The state fire Marshal's office is there investigating and I don't know if they'll find a cause, but I'm sure they'll be spending more time talking to homeowner and getting a few more things from him.”


Carson says propane tanks are usually 20-30 feet from the home, meaning if a fire is not nearby it is safe to turn off the tank. The district does ask owners to dig the snow out around the tanks and flag them for fire crews to see and access them easily. Carson noted that propane tanks aren’t the only dangers for second homes.


“I know a lot of them have wood burning heat sources,” Carson explained. “It's important that when they empty the ashes out they have a way to store those ashes after they empty them out. Because they could flare up at any time after that. You know, just basically safety measures.”


Carson also emphasized the importance of having a safety check-list for when people first arrive at their second homes and for when they leave. Two homes exploded in the Timber Lakes area in the first few months of last year, two other homes in the area caught fire in October of last year.

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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