Utah-4 Alarm in Smithfield
Four Alarm Fire Destroys Smithfield Business
November 16th, 2005 @ 12:00pm
(KSL News/AP) -- A wood pallet business in Smithfield goes up in flames after closing yesterday.
Firefighters estimate the fire caused about $200,000 in damage to the Mortimer Pallet Company.
The fire burned well into the morning.
Credit: Rick Hall of Smithfield An individual at a business nearby noticed an orange glow around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night, and called 911. The first Smithfield fire truck arrived at 9:37 p.m.
Flames were reported to have been 40 to 50 feet high, and could be seen across the valley.
Pennie Finley, Lives near business: "I peeked out through the blinds, and there was this huge flame. I mean, just the largest flame I’ve ever seen."
It took ten fire engines and about 75 firefighters to fight the blaze. Firefighters were able to contained the blaze to the company's property, keeping it away from nearby structures.
Mark Meaker -- speaking for Smithfield Fire Chief Jay Downs -- says the fire destroyed thousands of pallets and a building 300 feet by 40 feet where work was done on the pallets.
Delon Mortimer, Mortimer Palettes Owner: "I came out here and saw the place on fire. I got of the house, looked out my backdoors, got in my truck... You could see flames all through the valley. It was just the worse feeling I’ve ever had."
Company owner Delon Mortimer tells KSL that he checked on the business about 15 minutes before the fire apparently started. He says that it could have started from a spark from a nail in the repair area.
Chief Jay Downs, Smithfield City Fire Dept.: “They would bring in pallets and chop the pallets up with a chop saw. We are thinking that one of those nails got chopped up, and when down in the sawdust pile and smoldered.”
Firefighters do not call the fire suspicious, but do say there are some unanswered questions about it. An investigation into the cause will continue today.