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Front Page » December 18, 2001 » Local News » Fire erupts late Saturay evening, flames destroy residenc...
Published 4,693 days ago

Fire erupts late Saturay evening, flames destroy residence in Kenilworth


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By KAREN BASSO
Staff reporter


A fire in Kenilworth last Saturday evening left two men homeless and turned a small 80-year-old house on Main Street into a black hulk.

Neighbors of the house, located in the "new town" section of the small community, noticed smoke coming from the side of the home just before 10 p.m. and called 911.

Three units from the Helper City Fire Department were dispatched to the scene. When the first unit arrived, flames were coming out nearly every window in the residence.

"Someone called me and told me they had been listening to their scanner and told me that a house on Main Street was on fire," said Keith Haycock, a resident who lives across the street from where the fire occurred. "I went outside and looked down the street and didn't see anything and then, when I turned my attention across the street, I could see smoke and a growing glow from the front window."

When the fire got going, windows in the house started to blow out one right after another, indicated witnesses.

Fire fighters had a difficult time putting out the blaze because the flames got into the attic of the structure. By the time the crews arrived, the fire had about reached about every space in the house.

Originally, the main concern was not only about saving as much of the house as possible, but to keep the residence next door from catching fire.

One of the men who lived in the home returned from Price to find it on fire and feared that his 19-year-old son was still inside the structure. When the father left the house earlier in the evening, his son was asleep on the sofa in the front room.

The younger man's truck was parked at the side of the house so the father and the fire fighters feared the worst since the front room was totally engulfed by flames.

With the help of Carbon County Sheriff's Office deputies dispatched to the scene, the son was subsequently located at a friend's house watching videos.

A dog chained to the front porch of the burning house managed to survive the fire.

The animal hid under the porch, even when the walkway was burning. It was difficult to get the dog out, but fire fighters finally rescued the scared animal and all it had suffered was some singed fur.

The fire lit up the sky around Kenilworth and could be seen from Spring Glen at the height of the conflagration

The fire fighters had to battle bitter cold temperatures, which dropped down below 10 degrees Fahrenheit during the operation.

In addition, the wind blew out of the canyon behind the town most of the evening, causing it to be even colder due to the chill factor.

Water from fighting the fire flooded a nearby alleyway and it turned into an ice rink in a matter of minutes.

Water also ran down the gutter and flooded the mailbox area near the end of town where more ice formed.

Smoke from the fire blew in a southeasterly direction over homes in the new town area of the small Carbon County community.

Fire fighters remained on the scene until 4 a.m. on Sunday, putting out hot spots and making sure the blaze was out.

During the day, a number of fire fighters visited the site to see what damage had been done and to also be sure the fire would not start up again.

By the last visit to the scene, there was no apparent smoke. But the Helper department received a call about 3 a.m. on Monday morning indicating that the fire had started up again and that the home was almost totally engulfed in flames for a second time.

Emergency crews responded and, by 6 a.m., subdued the blaze.

"It appears there must have been a hot spot in the ceiling where some plywood had been nailed up before the sheet rock was put on," said Fire Chief Mike Zamantakis on Monday morning. "That probably simmered there until a breeze blew and started it up again."

The house was a rental unit and the owner had insurance on the structure. But the renter apparently had no insurance coverage.

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