SLC Fire Displaces 20 People and Destroys 17 Cars

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) –  20 people lost their home to a two-alarm fire that ripped through a carport Monday morning.
 
The heat from the flames were so hot that it caused several apartment windows to break and front doors to be damaged.
 
The fire happened at 825 East 600 South near downtown Salt Lake City. 
 
Captain Mark Bedmarik with Salt Lake City Fire Department said, “It was just a big fire ball down there.”
 
Several people were trapped by the blaze and needed to be rescued.
 
Firefighters said one man was burned running out of his apartment. 
 
“That occupant came out close to the fire scene and ran through the heat and received those burns,” said Capt. Bedmarik.
 
Another person had burns to their legs.
Paramedics treated another that suffered from smoke inhalation.
All were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
 
“I heard some voices and I heard a couple of pops and basically I think it started near my car and one of the storage sets,” said resident Phil Pickelner. 
 
Pickelner said the fire happened around 4:30 a.m. and the voices he heard were not firefighters. 
 
“I just heard some voices and all of a sudden—you know I didn’t really wake up to that as much as the pop, pop after that,” said Pickelner.
 
Shawn Morgan worked on the property for years and says he has a different theory on how the fire started.
 
“We have a lot of transients that sneak in and out and we have problems with them,” said Morgan.
 
An arson dog combed the scene looking for possible clues on how the fire began. As of now investigators are leaning towards an accidental fire.
 
“It wasn’t good. I heard all the hollering going on. I didn’t know what happened outside, I had dozed off. And I pop the door open and there was a wall of flames at the parking structure. It’s out in front of my door and all I could see all the cars. Everything was on fire,” said Morgan.
 
But for the folks living at the complex, they are adding up their loses. 
 
“It was very intense over by the cars,” said Pickelner. “My car was right in the middle of everything.”
 
“I just lost both my cars, both my sheds, everything I had in it, tools camping gear, hunting, I mean everything,” said Morgan. 
 
Firefighters told Good4Utah 12 vehicles were complete losses and 17 were affected by the fire. 
 
The Utah Red Cross is assisting 20 people with living arrangement for the next couple days. 
 
Fire investigators believe the fire caused roughly $300,000 in damage. 
 

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