Firefighters rushed to a two-alarm blaze Wednesday morning on wooden pallets stored on a rural lot along the Salt Lake City and Magna city line, causing a traffic shutdown on Highway 201 near 7200 West.
The call came in about 7:10 a.m. and Salt Lake City Fire Department units initially responded, calling in the second alarm when they noticed heavy, black smoke and flames billowing from the property identified as belonging to Boyce Welding & Repair. Unified Fire Authority crews were on the scene five minutes later.
"There were some pretty heavy fire conditions when we arrived. The fire began in the pallets and took out a couple sheds but they were able to protect a main building on the scene," said UFA Battalion Chief Brian Anderton.
As of Wednesday night, the cause had not been determined, Anderton said. Fire marshals expected the investigation to take at least a week, he said. Anderton said the blaze was contained as of 9 a.m., but some flare-ups kept crews busy for hours more.
Traffic through the area of 7200 West and Highway 201 (2100 South) was restricted to emergency vehicles until 9:30 a.m. when crews began demobilizing.
No injuries directly connected to the fire were reported. However, the road closures resulted in congested traffic and at least one 8 a.m. crash at 2200 South and 8000 West involving a UFA fire engine and two other vehicles, that resulted on one man being transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said that crash occurred when a Ford F-150 pickup truck made a left turn in front of the fire engine, which had its lights flashing and siren active at the time. The fire engine T-boned the truck, which then struck a Saturn sedan that had pulled over to let the fire engine through.
The pickup truck's driver, a man in his mid-30s, was initially transported to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray in serious condition, but was reported improving and talking Wednesday afternoon.
A hazy day followed the morning fire, but state air quality monitors could not say whether the fire was a major contributor to air pollution. Bo Call, manager of the air monitoring center, said pollution levels were creeping up throughout the afternoon, but that occurred after the fire was put out. The Salt Lake Valley is under inversion conditions right now and probably will remain hazy for the next week at least, Call said.
"It's likely to get worse before it gets better," Call said.