Fire displaces residents, leaves family dog dead in West Valley City

Posted at 8:21 PM, Jan 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-16 23:16:30-05

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – A homeowner in West Valley City said he’s grateful he and his family are alive after a fire destroyed his home early Saturday morning.

David Sackett lived in his home with his two children and a roommate. He was having dinner at a friend’s house Friday night with his kids, and was spending the night, when the fire started.

Fire department officials say a neighbor saw the fire and knocked on the door. Sackett’s roommate answered and immediately warned his friend, who was spending the night.

“When he came out, the whole garage area and up into the eaves was already on fire,” said Mark Ownsbey, battalion chief with the West Valley City Fire Department.

Sackett says he’s grateful he and his kids – a six-year-old and a two-year-old – were not home at the time.

“Because I don’t know if I would’ve been able to get them out,” he said. “Because my room’s upstairs and they share a room downstairs, and I don’t know if I would’ve been able to get to them and actually get them out safely or anything.”

Sackett’s roommate and his friend were able to get out of the home safely, but the family dog - a daschaund - died in the blaze.

“I’ve just kind of been sifting through everything, and it just makes you realize what’s important in life,” Sackett said.

Sackett said he was able to salvage some personal items because the fire started on the other end of the house.

“A lot of our pictures were OK, and coincidentally, my room was one of the few rooms that didn’t have a ton of smoke damage,” he said.

Sackett says he’ll be staying with family while he waits for repairs to his home.

“I think I’m going to stay with my mother for a couple days and then I think I have a friend that I’m going to go stay with because she has space that will accommodate me and my kids,” he said.

Sackett said he’s just happy to be alive.

“It’s stuff…I’m grateful,” he said.

The home is a total loss. Insurance adjusters are determining an exact figure for the damage – estimated at $150,000. Fire officials are still investigating what caused the fire to break out.