DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 News) – A woman was killed and a child is in critical, but stable condition, after a house fire in Draper.
The fire broke out around 12:45 a.m., according to Draper City Fire Chief Clint Smith. Neighbors said fire crews were struggling to access the home, located about 1,000 feet down a small dirt lane off of 13800 South, because of heavy road construction in the area.
Upon arrival, Smith says crews found a small two-story log house with heavy smoke and flames showing from the front side of the house. He said five people–a mother/father, two children and a grandmother– were inside the home at the time.
Smith said everyone except the grandmother was able to get out of the house. Neighbors said the victim is Shelley O’Meara. Smith said a 6-year-old boy was transported by helicopter to the University of Utah Burn Center in critical, but stable condition.
Chief Smith says crews are working to process the scene and preserve evidence; and says that the investigation into the cause of this house fire will take some time.
Neighbor and friend Jenny Orgill told ABC4 News O’Meara had a “bubbly” and “loving” personality.
“She will be missed,” said Orgill, through tears.
Orgill said it’s believed O’Meara called out the family from her loft bedroom when the house caught on fire. Orgill said she’s a hero for alerting them so quickly. She also said it’s believed O’Meara became trapped in the home when she went back to try and save her dog. Orgill said three animals are missing after the fire.
Chief Smith also says this fire presented a lot of challenges for his team, specifically the lack of water, so the majority of the fire was fought from outside the home.
Also during the firefight, a firefighter and police officer did suffer some minor smoke inhalation. They were both transported to a local hospital to be looked at and have since been released.
This is not the first time tragedy has struck this home. In 2009, O’Meara’s estranged husband Rick O’Meara was shot and killed at the house by her then-boyfriend, James Gikiu.