Fire burns for hours at Springville home
February 11, 2010 7:50 am
The Springville Fire Department works to put out a residential fire at 745 South and 700 East in Springville on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010. The home belonged to the Luehr family. JAMES ROH/Daily Herald .
SPRINGVILLE -- Flames and smoke poured from a Springville neighborhood for the better part of Wednesday afternoon from a house fire that did not harm any residents, but left a home nearly in ruins. Even as the Springville Fire Department doused the fire from all angles for more than an hour, indefatigable flames chewed gaping holes across the two-story roof.
The home, at 745 S. 700 East, could have been slowly smoldering as early as 2 p.m., when resident Chelsey Luehr first smelled smoke and chalked it up to a cracked chimney. Chelsey's husband, Doug, extinguished the wood-burning stove shortly afterward, but the smell lingered, and then they heard a crackling sound upstairs. As the smoke detector blared, Doug sprinted upstairs to evacuate with their young daughter, Danica, who was napping close to where Doug estimates the fire started.
Luehr's 9-1-1 call came shortly before 4 p.m., Springville police Lt. Dave Caron said, and by 5:30 p.m., the fire, though still burning, was under control. Nobody was harmed, although the Luehr family was checked on the scene as a precaution. (The Luehr's son was still at school at the time.)
"It's kind of surreal," Chelsey said from the sidewalk as she watched pieces of the roof cave in. "You're just in shock. You wonder if you should have expected it." Still, Chelsey was grateful her family was unharmed, and that this fire didn't occur in the middle of the night.
The origin and cause of the blaze could not yet be determined, Caron said, but it appears the fire began somewhere in the attic.
"When the fire department got here, they first went inside and tried to vent it," he said. "Then the fire grew, and we had to pull them out." Water cascaded down the garage roof, washing soggy ash across the driveway, as firemen simultaneously shot jets of water from the front yard, backyard, and up top from the fire-truck ladder.
To the onlookers lined up on the side of the road, the fire's ferocity and longevity were completely unexpected.
"At first, I thought, 'Oh, they'll have this out right away,' " said Ron Shepherd, who lives across the street.
The blaze's tenacity could be attributed in part to the three layers of ceiling that had piled up over the course of several remodels, Caron said. In fact, the Luehrs just finished installing a new roof on Friday, which had several neighbors speculating whether or not the roof itself was the cause. Luehr declined to name who installed the roof, and Caron said it was far too early to pinpoint any causality.
Caron also said it was too early to guess what kind of shape the house inside would be in after the fire. The bottom floor's windows were clear and unbroken, but the top story was blackened and broken.
The Luehrs have only lived in the home for about a year, but neighbors and friends were already lining up to give aid.
"We've already got 12 places to stay, and 20 meals promised, and clothes, and anything else we might need," Doug said.
Doug, an attorney, actually nabbed his first sale for his new outdoor survival gear business, SurvivorGeek.com, that very morning.
"Today's a day for two firsts, I guess," he joked.
The fire department began clearing the area around 8 p.m. Wednesday night. No neighboring houses were damaged.
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Thread: Springville House Fire
02-11-2010, 03:24 PM #1
Springville House FireFront line since 1983 and still going strong
02-11-2010, 06:24 PM #2
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From the pictures you posted, I just find it hard to believe they would go into a defensive mode.
Did the crews open the roof, pull ceilings and attack the fire before going defensive?
02-13-2010, 09:18 PM #3
Sorry, I was not on scene and am not aware fo thier operational mode. I just posted the story as I found it.
UTFFEMTFront line since 1983 and still going strong
02-13-2010, 09:37 PM #4
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