MAGNA, UT — Firefighters from the Unified Fire Authority responded to a house basement fire at 3175 S. 8520 West just before 2 p.m. on Saturday February 12th. Fire damaged in the house caused one firefighter to fall nine feet through a collapsed floor during a necessary evacuation according to reports from the Deseret News.
Firefighter arrived to witness heavy smoke coming from the structure, said UFA Capt. Clint Smith. Fire crews entered the building to start the attack but quickly felt that the floors were becoming unstable. Firefighters felt that the floor had become “spongy,” Smith said, prompting them to evacuate. The floor collapsed under the last firefighter to exit the structure dropping him nine feet into the basement.”Our last guy out actually fell through the floor,” Smith said.
A mayday was immediately called causing crews of fellow firefighters to assemble and initiate rescue procedures. The firefighter, a Captain, began to crawl to a wall in hopes of finding a window for escape. He then located an opening, notified other firefighters who helped him crawl through the window and out of the house. The firefighter was not injured.
The home was occupied by three people when the fire started. Smoke alarms alerted them to the fire which they initially attempted to stop with a fire extinguisher. They were forced to evacuate when the fire took control. The fire was caused by linseed oil-soaked rags which were placed in a household clothes hamper. Smith warned that linseed oil-soaked rags thrown together are notorious for self-combusting and igniting. The home in the process of “extensive renovation” at the time of the fire and exposed areas of wood helped fuel the flames, Smith said. The estimated damage is approximately between $75,000 and $80,000. No injuries have been reported.
The UFA Capt. credited the firefighters’ training for helping everyone escape without injury.”It was quite tense for a few minutes. It was one of the closer calls we’ve had for quite some time,” Smith said.