Firefighter battling house fire in Murray injured after floor collapses

Posted at 8:22 AM, Nov 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-30 00:37:13-05

MURRAY, Utah -- Fire crews responded to two house fires in Murray early Sunday morning, and one firefighter suffered injuries while battling the blaze at one of those homes.

A passerby noticed a house in Murray on fire around 5:30 Sunday morning. The owners, Mike and Janet Myers, luckily weren’t home.

Instead they got a sudden awakening when their phone rang.

“We got a call from the Murray Police that just said, ‘Your house is on fire,’” Janet Myers said.

The two were an hour and a half away, wondering just how bad the blaze was burning, and if their pets would make it out alive.

All Janet could think, she said, was, “Holy crap! Our dog, our animals.”

She hoped firefighters could get the couple’s three-year old cat, Snickers, and 13-year old Chihuahua, Lucy, to safety.

But saving the animals wouldn’t be the only rescue operation.

Murray City Deputy Fire Marshal Pat Killion said firefighters had just gone inside the house, and when they “walked down the hallway about 10/12 feet, made a left hand turn and immediately found themselves in the basement.”

Three firefighters had crashed through the floor when it collapsed underneath them. Attention immediately turned from fighting the flames, to saving the three men.

“Some extraordinary effort went in to getting these guys out of the basement,” Killion said.

They eventually found another hole to stick a ladder in so they could get the three to safety.

One firefighter dislocated his shoulder in the fall. He ended up in the hospital before later being released, Killion said.

The other two came out unhurt.

The blaze continued to burn, growing in size and forcing the team to play catch up.

On top of that, Myers’ animals still sat trapped inside.

Fire crews found Lucy.

“[She] was free and open to run around,” Killion said. He said Lucy was freaked out and wouldn’t come to them easily. “They had to actually get after [her].”

After chasing the pup around the house, they rounded her up.

But Snickers remained in the basement. Firefighters couldn’t get to her in time.

While Myers and her husband grieve the loss of one pet, she’s grateful the other is still alive.

And she knows she’s lucky they weren’t home, especially because they had planned to have their grandchildren stay over.

“We were supposed to have our grandkids last night,” She explained. “Fortunately, we weren’t here. We changed our mind.”

And while she said they’ll have to take it one day at a time to figure out what’s next, she said she’s keeping this in mind: “It could have been worse. Could have been worse. Right now, it’s just a house.”

Killion said they haven’t figured out what caused the house to go up in flames, but they’ll head back out to the scene over the next couple of days to continue their investigation.

The other fire in Murray was reported at 2:45 a.m. in the area of 616 East and 5600 South. The man living in the home got out unharmed, as did his two dogs.

Firefighters ran into problems fighting the blaze when they found a remodeled second roof under the first one. Because of the damage, the man will be displaced.

Killion said they’re looking at wiring and a fireplace as possible causes in the fire along 5600 South.