This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Clearfield • Two business owners and their employees wonder what they will do next after a two-alarm fire destroyed their building in Clearfield and injured one person Friday.
The fire began at Clear Sky Biofuels Inc., near 400 West and 200 South, at 11:37 a.m., and in about an hour the fire spread and consumed the whole building, which also housed an automotive-repair business. It also destroyed an adjacent building, fire officials said.
A woman was taken to the hospital with serious burns, according to Clearfield Police Chief Greg Krusi.
At least five fire agencies responded to the blaze. It took about two hours to put out the flames.
"All the sudden I heard a loud explosion and fire was coming past the door of my office," said Gary Clark, a chemical engineer and part owner of Clear Sky.
The woman taken to the hospital was Clark's sister, who he said suffered burns on the back of her legs and arms.
"She was in good spirits when she went into the ambulance," Clark said, adding that she should be OK.
Clark said the workers were processing vegetable oil to remove impurities, but no machinery was running that would have caused the blaze.
"All the equipment was off. I have no idea how anything exploded," he said.
Fire agencies took an additional five hours to put out any hot spots and demolish the building to ensure the fire didn't reignite. This allowed investigators to enter the area safely, said North Davis Fire District Chief Roger Bodily. The two buildings were destroyed, and it likely will take about a week to determine a cause, he said.
Steven Spacil, owner of The Cartel, an RV and automotive and marine repair shop in the same building, said he heard the loud bang and looked over and saw the biodiesel portion of the building on fire. He saw people fleeing, went over to see that people had got out and then called 911.
Spacil took over the business less than six months ago with the hopes of helping to pay for his wife and daughter's mounting medical bills.
"I pretty much put everything I had into it," Spacil said of financially taking over the business. Now he doesn't know what he will do.
He estimates more than $300,000 worth of tools and vehicles currently being repaired were destroyed.
"I had one guy's camp trailer, now it is all gone," Spacil said, adding that everything he used to run his business and contact customers had been destroyed. "I don't know how I am going to get a hold of that guy."
The building, estimated to be worth several hundred thousand dollars, is considered a total loss, according to fire officials.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.