Wasatch County Fire District made two stops in the Timber Lakes region Sunday evening.
Wasatch Fire District PIO Janet Carson reports that the fire district sent an engine to respond to a chimney fire in the Timber Lakes area, about 15 minutes East of Heber, a little before 7:00 pm. That fire was contained with no damage. Around 20 minutes after the chimney fire began the fire crew was paged out for a fully engulfed cabin about a mile up the road from the first fire.
“The first engine that was there at the other scene responded to this one,” Carson explained. “Re-routed over there and then we brought units from Heber. The home was reported by neighbors to be fully engulfed. There was no one in the home at the time. I'm not sure when the owners had been there last, but there was no one there. So, we made an attack from the outside. We weren't able to make entry into the home because of the fire that was burning inside. Basically, the home is probably a total loss. So, at this time we don't know what caused the fire, but the fire is out now”
Carson says they were able to get their ladder firetruck into the gated community despite the snow on the ground.
“Typically, we don't even attempt to try to get up there with those after it’s snowed,” Carson continued. “There were several inches of snow on the ground, it was 21 degrees so makes it a little tougher when you've got to worry about lines freezing up. It would have been a complete loss right to the ground, I would imagine, if we wouldn’t have already been up there on a call. But because we were just a short distance away it made our response time for the first engine much quicker. With the extent of the damage that was done upon arrival there wasn't anything we could do from the inside.”
The two incidents on Sunday offer a reminder for Homeowners. Those with chimneys should have them cleaned and check the flu tiles for cracks. Additionally, homeowners with propane tanks should have their tanks inspected annually and not allow their tank to go completely empty before changing it. Two propane caused explosions and fires took place in the Timber Lakes area in the past year. However, Carson says this latest fire was very likely not caused by propane issues.
“There were no explosions,” Carson said. “We were able to access the propane tank and shut the propane off upon arrival at the scene initially. That was the first thing they did, was go around and find the propane tank. It's good to have your propane tank flagged, so we can identify them and get that shut off quickly.”
Carson says that a lot of buildings in the Timber Lakes are second homes. She recommends a safety checklist for those homeowners to protect their buildings.
“When you arrive, this is what you turn on and how you do it; and when you leave these are the safety checks that you go through before you leave the cabin,” Carson explained. “That kind of helps make things a little safer and maybe you'd have less of a chance of something like this happened, if you had an actual physical checklist to check off as you come and go.”
The State Fire Marshall began an investigation into the cause of the fire on Monday.