The Mountain Subdivision called Timber Lakes sits in the hills east of Heber. The city fire officials are always concerned about this area because it is so dry and covered with scrub oak. A house fire was reported in the early hours of Friday morning and if not for the recent rain and a vigilent homeowner’s association, the outcome could have been catastrophic for many property owners in the neighborhood. Carolyn Murray has this:
Public Information officer for the Wasatch Fire District, Janet Carson said a cabin in Timber Lakes on Cedar Bark Road caught fire during the night last week and a neighbor saw the flames and called 911. She said there are not a lot of full-time residents living there and this cabin was not occupied at the time of the fire. When fire fighters arrived, the house was completely ingulfed and the structure was destroyed.
“So, when we arrived, thank goodness for all of the rain we had recently, we were able to attack from four sides. And then we put the ladder truck with the nozzle spraying down, from the ladder onto the structure. So, we were able to put the flames out and stop it from spreading. The propane tank that was close by the structure was on fire and burning so we tried not to hit that with the water and allowed that to burn off all that fuel inside the tank.”
Propane tanks have a pressure release valve that pops off and allows the propane gas to burn off. She said they never spray water on a burning propane tank.
There was no other damage to property. Carson said fire fighters had access to four hydrants.
“We had all of our volunteers and then of course all of the full time stations arrived also and of course the ladder trucks and fast attack trucks to get down and into that driveway and around in the tighter spots. We pretty much pulled out the full department for something like this. Sometimes it’s hard to get in there. We have to have different types of trucks to get into these places. Sometimes the ladder truck doesn’t get all the way out there but this one was close enough off the road. We were able to get the water truck in there and shoot water down from the ladder.”
Carson said the homeowner’s association and the water system in Timber Lakes combined with recent rain, helped prevent the fire from causing more damage.
“One of our biggest fears is Timber Lakes because it is a mountain community and not a lot of residents stay there. I know they have an HOA and they’re very proactive on safety. Their water system is excellent. Like I said, we had four nozzles and the huge ladder that puts out a thousand gallons a minute, all of them pumping water and we did not run out of water. We did not have a problem with flow. All those were really good but if it would have been 10 days ago before the rain, a spark could have caught onto that scrub oak and caused a lot of damage.”
Carson said the HOA works together to create defensible space and manage fire risk.
“They meet regularly to talk about fire safety issues. They work together to make sure they have brush cleared far enough away from the homes. At one time they were required to have sprinkling systems inside of them but now, I‘m not sure. You know, the County kind of controls it now so I’m not sure what the guidelines are now.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation.