3-alarm warehouse fire in SLC deemed accidental, authorities say

Posted at 3:23 PM, Mar 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-29 17:23:23-04

SALT LAKE CITY — An industrial warehouse fire that shut down a portion of State Route 201 Monday evening, was deemed accidental, officials confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

The inferno was caused by a warming fire inside the structure that got out of control, according to a press release from Salt Lake City Fire Department. Propane bottles inside the warehouse ignited explosions.

At 7:21 p.m., fire crews responded to the blaze at 2290 S. 7200 West. Unified police officers were first on scene.

According to the release, the officers watched the fire grow inside a 50 feet by 50 feet warehouse on a commercial storage yard.

Officers witnessed an explosion inside the structure just before the first fire engine arrived. By that time, the building was fully engulfed in flames, the release states.

Two alarms were called, followed by a third alarm to bring sufficient resources to the fire, which was fought from a defensive position, the release indicates.

The fire was under control within 30 minutes and crews remained on scene for several hours to prevent flare ups.

During the blaze, Unified police and Utah Highway Patrol closed S.R. 201 between 5600 and 8400 Wests due to heavy smoke drifting across the freeway. The roadway was reopened within an hour, according to the release.

Family of the property owner told authorities the warehouse was not regularly used for business and had suffered fire damage in the past.

Syme Construction and Boyce Welding and Repair had operated out of the address in the past, the release states.

The owner regularly leases yard space for storage and pallet construction, as well as performing other similar duties at the site, according to the family of the property owner.

Damage is estimated at $250,000 to $500,000. The structure is a total loss.

Fifty-five firefighters responded to the scene. No civilians or personnel were injured during the incident.

There were reports that the building housed a meth lab. According to fire authorities, they found no evidence of an operation.