Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

April 1, 2014
High winds, combustibles fuel Grantsville fire

A garage fire in Grantsville was fueled by stiff winds but miraculously did not harm the owner’s house Saturday.

The blaze started near the rear of the structure, owned by Gordon and Erin Bolinder, on west Durfee Street near 150 West at about 11:30 a.m., and a strong south wind quickly fed the flames, said Fire Chief Neil Bell of the Grantsville Volunteer Fire Department.

It took about a half hour for firefighters from Grantsville’s fire department and the North Tooele County Fire District to contain the fire. They battled 40 mph gusts that sought to spread the fire to the Bolinder’s home just north of the garage.

Bell said the department’s new ladder truck fought the fire from the west in its inaugural run, while firefighters took their stand from the south.

“The wind always plays a big part in how we fight fires,” he said. “We had our backs to the wind, so nobody was being threatened by the smoke or the flames.”

The smoke blew fiercely into the home, however, and throughout the neighborhood. Some neighbors entered the home to help a man get out, while others sprayed the flames with garden hoses slung over their fences, Bell said. The man was checked by medical personnel but did not require treatment.

“He was just on oxygen already and was an older gentlemen. The house did get quite smoky, so we just had him checked out and he was fine,” Bell said. “It’s all thanks to the neighbors who were able to get him out before it got too smoky.”

Bell said besides the strong wind, the fire got help from explosive material — oxygen, acetylene and ammunition — in the garage. The structure was a total loss, he said, but the home was spared from fire and smoke damage.

Bell said the cause of the fire was undetermined. 

Lisa Christensen

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Lisa covers primarily crime and courts, military affairs, Stansbury Park government and transportation issues. She is a graduate of Utah State University, where she double-majored in journalism and music, and Grantsville High School.

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