ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Residents near 2650 East and 300 North in St. George are left in shock after what they say started as a small fire, rapidly grew, spreading to six structures.
“I heard the popping and told Dave there’s a fire out there and it was just a little fire at the time and he got out here and was working on it but then it got so big,” says Deborah Muston, one of the residents who’s backyard and trailer caught fire.
Neighbors say it was bamboo that accelerated the flames.
“Our house started on fire and the guys up on the ladders stopped that but they couldn’t get on Johnny’s fast enough because of the bamboo and trees back there,” says Muston.
Multiple families were displaced for the night, according to Fire Chief Robert Stoker. He says they got the call around 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening and the first engine arrived at 6:43 p.m.
“The traffic started getting crazy like there were people, after the police officer got there the road was full of looky-loos people driving up and down the road wanting to see what was going on,” says Robert Porter, a witness.
First responders say because so many people congregated around the other trailers, they struggled to get the other engines to the scene. Witnesses say there weren’t any road blockades or officials controlling traffic as they watched.
“Police started blocking some of the streets and then the streets department placed barricades on 2650 East ad 2700 East. We did have issues with heavy traffic blocking streets during the response,” says Stoker.
“Either they need more help or they need to get dialed in on the organization of the scene under control,” says Porter.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.