A house in Elwood burned to the ground last Friday, leaving one woman injured and her home destroyed.
At about 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2, multiple agencies responded to reports of a fire at 6181 W. 8000 North. The fire started in a barn and spread to the house, which was mostly consumed by flames before firefighters were able to get it under control. A thick column of dark smoke coming from the blaze could be seen for miles around on an otherwise clear afternoon.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Utah State Fire Marshal’s office.
Blair Westergard, a battalion chief with the Tremonton Fire Department and the incident commander on the scene, said the woman who owns and lived the home was inside with two grandchildren when the fire broke out.
One of the children noticed the fire and called for help and both children got out unharmed, but the woman suffered second-degree burns to her legs. Bystanders and neighbors helped her get out and pulled her car away from the fire, and an ambulance was dispatched to assist with her injuries.
Westergard described the house as a “total loss.
“It was a tough fire,” Westergard said. “There were no fire hydrants close by, so water was a problem."
He said the home had a tin roof with an overbuild, which made it difficult for crews to get to the heart of the fire.
“It was just hard,” he said.
Tender trucks were called in to supply water to fight the blaze, and crews were able to draft water out of a nearby ditch, but the fire spread quickly, in part because some propane bottles that were stored in the shed exploded and accelerated the burn.
Black powder and other ammunition stored on the property exploded as the fire grew, but no injuries were reported as a result.
Trucks from all surrounding departments were called in to help, including Tremonton/Garland, Corinne, Honeyville and Box Elder County, as well as state resources.
Now, family members are now left picking up the pieces from the loss of the home that has been in the family for the past 15 years.
Maria Lowe, a daughter of the homeowner who was injured, said her mother is recovering from her injuries, and the family is working with an insurance company to find temporary housing while they work to rebuild their home.
"She's alive, and that's what matters," Lowe said.
She said an outpouring of support from the community over the past several days has been "overwhelming.
"The bystanders that showed up to help my mom and the grandkids out of the house, the firefighters from all the towns, the neighbors ... it's just deep, heartfelt gratitude to everybody," Lowe said. "The help everyone has given has helped relieve some of the burden."
With the school year fast approaching, she said the children who live in the house, ranging from elementary to high school age, are in need of school supplies. Anyone who wants to contribute should contact Kyra Bennett, a family member, through her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/kyra.bennett2