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Firefighters who responded quickly to a fire that damaged three vacant homes were able to keep the blaze from spreading to nearby dry grass and other structures.

The homes, at 950 S. 400 West, were well-known to firefighters: Because they are scheduled for demolition, firefighters trained for house fires there last April.

Because the fire was spreading so quickly through the homes, which were at risk of collapsing, firefighters did not go in and instead fought it defensively from the outside and by pouring water from above, according to a Salt Lake City Fire Department news release.

Firefighters had the fire extinguished in a little more than an hour after arriving at the scene.

No cause has been found for the fire, which was reported shortly after 3:30 p.m. Witnesses were still being interviewed an hour after the fire started.

The blaze belched black smoke into the sky before firefighters atop ladder trucks doused it from above.

The owner of a neighboring business, Ventura Body and Paint, told The Tribune that someone was believed to have been squatting in the abandoned homes on Wednesday.

The Tribune will provide further details as they become available.

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