Apartment Fire Leaves One Dead
February 1st, 2006 @ 12:00pm
Sandra Yi reporting

A man is dead following an apartment fire in Salt Lake.

The fire started this morning just before ten at the Bigalow apartments, located near 200 South 400 East in Salt Lake.

The fire started in a first floor studio apartment. That is where fire fighters found the victim.

Investigators are still on the scene trying to determine the exact cause of the fire.

When crews arrived on the scene this morning, they found heavy smoke on the first floor of the apartment complex. They knocked the fire down, and that is when they found the body of the victim laying at the foot of his bed.

Officials say the victim died of smoke inhalation. He also had 3rd degree burns on his face.

KSL talked to a resident of the apartment building who said that he opened the door to the victim's apartment when he saw smoke coming up from under the apartment's door. The resident said he yelled to see if anyone was inside and didn't get a response. The resident said that the smoke was so thick that no one in that apartment could have made it out alive.

Rosalyn Shorty got into a police car this morning. She had just learned about the fire in her apartment.

Rosalyn Shorty: "From what I hear, mostly smoke damage, so most of my stuff will have to be thrown away. So I'm without anything."

We interviewed Shorty before she found out anyone had died. She told us her boyfriend was in the apartment earlier, but investigators had not yet confirmed the victim's identity.

Rosalyn Shorty: "He might have been trying to cook something for himself, and they said he was not in there. That was my main concern too, was him being there."

Shorty says she last saw her boyfriend at 8 o'clock this morning.

Rosalyn Shorty: "When I did come home this morning, everything was fine, but then I had to leave again this morning. Now I probably won't even have my apartment."

She says their relationship was rocky, nevertheless, she had strong feelings for him.

Rosalyn Shorty: "I loved him with all of my heart. I did everything for that man."

About 15 people were forced outside because of the fire. Many of them heard the smoke alarms go off, but didn't go outside until they actually smelled smoke.

Devar Dawson, resident: "Heard a lot of screaming siren. I had to get up and look to see what was going on. With that many trucks I thought, we've got a problem, it's time to go."

Madelaine Acuna, Resident: "I opened up the door and it was thick smoke and a fireman was there. I started to run and get my mom and get her dressed as quickly as I could. I was scared."

Investigators are not releasing the name of the victim at this time. He was apparently about 40-years-old.