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Man using tanning bed escapes as it sets fire to Hurricane business

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Posted at 10:33 AM, Apr 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-17 22:16:28-04

HURRICANE, Utah - The owners of a Hurricane gym are sorting through wreckage after fire destroyed the building Thursday night, and firefighters said it started in a tanning booth.

Firefighters got the call just after 9:45 p.m. By the time they arrived at the Anytime Fitness building on 390 South State St., smoke billowed from the roof. Anytime Fitness owner Rodger Adams says a man using a tanning booth reported hearing a pop. The room then filled with smoke. Employees initially put out the flames with fire extinguishers, but it reignited.

“They went outside, and while I was on the phone with her, she began to panic, and said it started again,” Adams said. “It just went really quick.”

Hurricane Valley Fire chief Tom Kuhlmann said engines from Hildale and Washington City came to help put out the fire. It took them about an hour to get the flames knocked down.

For additional photos from Thursday night, visit St. George News.

“There’s severe damage to the structure, the roof components above the tanning bed area,” Kuhlmann said. “So the building has been deemed unsafe.”

Two neighboring business, Kokopelli Deli and Hurritan Tanning Salon, are also closed because of smoke and fire damage. Kokopelli Deli owner Kellie Clarke said they’ll have to replace all of their inventory. Everyone got out of the gym and is OK, but one firefighter suffered minor injuries when the roof collapsed. Kulhmann said the firefighter was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but later released.

Adams said, while it is devastating for them as business owners to watch the gym go up in flames, one of their biggest laments is for their clients, the ones who use the gym.

“Its frustrating to me because I know every day is important to show up,” Adams said. “Now I know I’m going to be without a facility to get those people into, for at least a little while.”

Gym patron Pedro Jaramillo came to see the destruction Friday. He said the gym is like a family to the community. Many are already pledging their help.

“I told Rodger, anything he needs from me, we’ll help him out,” Jaramillo said. “I just can’t believe it. It’s pretty sad.”

Adams said once he sorts out things with the insurance company, he’ll figure out what needs to be done to reopen, and he is also looking at ways to open a temporary location so people can get back into their workout habits. Updates on a possible location will be posted on the gym’s Facebook page.