Abandoned West Valley duplex heavily damaged in fire

Posted at 7:18 AM, Jul 03, 2017

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Fire crews extinguished a blaze that broke out at an abandoned duplex in West Valley City overnight.

The fire started around 2:30 a.m. at 3000 W Lehman Ave. (3590 S). Police were first to arrive at the scene, since the duplex is close to the West Valley City Police Department. Officers worked quickly to evacuate residents of nearby buildings, including those living in an apartment complex.

"It was quite a concern for us. It's right next to an apartment complex, so we had to make a lot of notifications very quickly. It appeared as though the fire was spreading pretty quickly," said Lt. Robert Hamilton, West Valley City Police Department.

With the flames extinguished, investigators are now working to determine how the fire started. Police said there have been issues with squatters using the abandoned building over the last couple of years.

"There was no power going to it. We have been going through, conducting regular patrols, trying to keep the transient problem down. But it is a problem and we're still hopeful that nobody was in there," said Lt. Robert Hamilton, West Valley City Police Department.

The fire caused around $75,000 to $80,000 in damage, according to an early estimate.