Fire erupts at construction site in Bear Hollow
December 18, 2015
A plume of smoke was clearly visible over Bear Hollow earlier this week as firefighters battled a large fire at a construction site.
At around 7 a.m. Wednesday, the Park City Fire District responded to the blaze at a duplex that was under construction in The Enclave, a development within Bear Hollow on the east side of State Road 224. The building is located at 2575 Enclave Way. A contractor reported the fire.
More than 30-foot-tall flames were seen coming from the exterior of the four-level building as crews arrived on scene, according to PCFD spokesperson Casey Vorwaller. Thirteen emergency units responded, including six fire engines.
"When the general contractor showed up to start work, he opened the gates and noticed what seemed like a fog until he realized that it was smoke," Vorwaller said. "He went to the side of building and could see the glow of fire inside.
"It was enormous and fully involved when crews arrived so we immediately went on the defensive," Vorwaller said.
It took crews nearly two hours to get the fire under control and because the building partially collapsed, crews were unable to extinguish fire burning in debris on the lower levels, Vorwaller said.
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"The structural integrity was horrible and we couldn’t get people inside to finish suppression so we took a track hoe and pulled the entire building down so we could get the fire out," Vorwaller said. "The biggest concern was the collapse of this unit into the other buildings which is why they took it down."
Vorwaller described the duplex as a total loss. He estimated value of the damages to be around $2.7 million, before adding that the building was nearly finished.
The building was unoccupied and no injuries were associated with the fire. A nearby structure sustained heat damage and had several windows shatter.
An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, however, it will be "very difficult" to determine because the structure has been torn down, Vorwaller said.
"It is going to be a very long time until we are able to make a determination," Vorwaller said. "There is a big concrete dividing wall that has to be looked at to see if it is even safe for us to go into that space."
It is the second major fire PCFD has responded to this week. On Sunday, a family of seven narrowly escaped a fire that destroyed their home in Francis. Vorwaller described it as "one of the worst he has seen." An early investigation indicated it originated in the family’s chimney.
"Fire is very unpredictable and when it happens people always have the feeling that ‘it won’t be me,’" he said. "While both were completely unrelated and had difference causes, they were both very large fires."
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