SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) –  A Salt Lake City Fire crews’ keen sense of smell may have saved the lives of five people.
There were no alarms, no calls to 911. On Sunday at 5 a.m. the medic engine crew from Fire Station 8 had just caught a whiff of smoke.
Captain Channing Jones told Good4Utah, “‘We were coming down 13th South and as we reached State Street we thought we smelled smoke.”
It wasn’t trash or leaves burning, Capt. Jones and his crew knew this was a house fire. “I think every firefighter knows the difference between a leaf fire or a house fire, it’s something that after you’ve been on a couple of fires you know.”
So they began their search, driving around the neighborhood following the smell. Five minutes later they found the source. Smoke was billowing out of the attic at a home near 150 East 1300 South.
Firefighter paramedic Val Thometz was the first one inside the home. “We did a very aggressive knock. Pounding on the door.”
It appears there were no working smoke detectors, because all five adults living in the home were still asleep. “I told them their house is on fire grab something warm quickly let’s go,” said Thometz.
All five adults made it out safely. Had the crew from Station 8 not been in the right place at the right time, this fire could have easily ended in tragedy. Thometz explained, “The basement had stairs leading out to the back door, the fire was directly above that so as it would have grown that ceiling would have dropped down and cut off their only means of egress and would have trapped 3 people in the basement.”
The American Red Cross is reminding everyone about the importance of smoke detectors. During the month of October, the Red Cross is installing fire detectors at no charge. For more information log on to: