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Blow torch's gas caused Woods Cross business fire

Published July 26, 2014 6:13 pm

Public Safety • Natural gas feeder lines came apart as flames spread, fueling the fire.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A gas bottle fueling a blow torch apparently led to the fire that destroyed a Woods Cross business.

The Overhead Door Co. at 2481 S. 1560 West went up in flames Friday afternoon, an estimated $1 million loss, at least. Investigators announced Saturday that it appears the two-alarm fire was an accident, one started with a gas fire and fueled by the gas lines that run along the roof.

Employees were using a cutting torch to cut large garage door springs when they heard a popping noise behind them, and turned to see the acetylene bottle fueling the torch was on fire around the valve, according to a statement from the South Davis Metro Fire Department. The flames spread to a wood workbench and to the large wood spools above it, fueling the fire to the roof.

There was a 2-inch natural gas feeder line that ran the length of the roof, one that had several feeder lines branching from it, that were pulled apart once the roof trusses collapsed. Gas flowed into the building and fueled the fire, the statement adds.

Investigators have not determined why the acetylene bottle caught fire. They intended to investigate the matter further, which will take "an undetermined amount of time," the statement reads.

Firefighters had responded to a call about the fire at 4:50 p.m. Friday, said Jeff Bassett, fire chief for South Davis Metro Fire. Six employees were inside Overhead Door when the fire broke out; all made it out safely, Bassett said.

Crews surrounded the burning building and doused it with water, protecting other structures from the fire. Crews knocked down the fire by 10 p.m., and stayed the night to put out hot spots.

The building is a total loss and would likely need to be completely demolished, Bassett said.

In all, 58 firefighters, two ladder trucks, seven engines and an ambulance responded to the fire, Bassett said. Crews from Salt Lake City, Kaysville, Farmington, Layton, Sunset and South Weber fire departments were on the scene. One firefighter suffered a head injury that required stitches during the blaze.


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