5 businesses destroyed in Layton strip mall fire


LAYTON -- Fire at a Layton strip mall on Monday destroyed five businesses, causing an estimated $4 million damage.

The fire, which started about 5 a.m., was deemed suspicious because it appeared to have started in more than one place.

The buildings were an attorney's office, eye care store, dental office, a barber shop and a medical supply shop.

Layton Fire Chief Kevin Ward said it was a difficult fire to fight.

"We've got a flat roof. We've got a common area that allowed the fire to travel throughout all the businesses," he said.

There were no fire sprinklers because the shops were built in the 1960s, before sprinklers were required.

Gilbert Smalls owned the hair salon.

"I've been doing hair around here for 10 years, decided to open my own business. It's been flourishing, and now it's gone," he told KSL.

"I'm going to do what I always do. I get up when I get knocked down, but this is going be the hardest one ever, because I'm a business owner and now my business has been burned down," he said. "But I'll get it going again, somehow, someway."

Denmark Jensen of the Layton Visual Center said, "We have records dating back to 50 years ago, and we have patients coming from 50 years ago. It's amazing. But all that is lost, but how can you salvage paper records when they've been burnt? You can't."

Dental assistant Becky Fowers said the fire destroyed a lot of equipment in the dental office.