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Fire burns shed, sends Price fire fighter to hospital

General manager

A shed at about 650 South and 600 East burns after a fire along the railroad tracks in Price spread to the structure. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, although kids playing with fire is suspected.

An early evening fire in south Price burned trees and a shed along the rail road tracks and also injured a fire fighter in the process.

Carey Seals, a long time fire fighter for Price was taken to Castleview Hospital for smoke inhalation and kept over night for observation when he tried to rescue some cats that were in the burning shed. Two other fire fighters who were with him at the time were uninjured.

At first fire and police officials suspected that the fire had been caused by a passing train, but some witnesses told police that they saw some children running from the area where the fire started about the time the fire was noticed.

The suspicion that the fire was started by a train was further dispelled when a train engine crew was questioned and they said that they had parked farther down the tracks earlier in the evening to wait for a coal train to pass. They said as they left where they had been standing down they noticed the fire smouldering in the brush then. That was about an hour before fire crews were called to put out the fire which had grown to about a two hundred yard skirmish line south of the tracks on about 600 South and 600 East.

"I haven't heard the complete disposition of what the investigation shows yet," said Price Fire Chief Kent Boyack on Monday morning. "I know they have questions some individuals but there is no definite word on what started it yet."

The fire spread rapidly once it was reported and smoke could be seen from all over town. Fire crews were sent out just before 7 p.m. to fight the blaze, but by that time curious residents in vehicles and on foot crowded the area.

"We had a hard time getting through to the fire because of the number of people in the way," said Boyack.

The problem of crowds of people getting in the way of emergency crews is not a new one. In this case it was also exacerbated by the fact the roads in that area are narrow and with the rail road tracks running between 600 and 700 South the logistics of fighting the blaze was made more difficult.

The blaze was also a reminder to residents that even though the area has had a lot of moisture this year things are beginning to dry out. Along with that extra moisture came a lot of foliage that this summer could be the potential for a great many fires.

The fire on Saturday quickly lit up the shed where Seals was injured. Inside was a mother cat and her newly born kittens.

"The cats died in the fire," said Boyack.

Apparently Seals, while in the shed, somehow was disconnected from his self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and was overcome by the heat and smoke. The other two fire fighters in the shed with him hauled him out and the incident commander called an ambulance.

Seals was released from the hospital on Sunday.

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