The Salt Lake City Fire Department got the call just before 3 o’clock Sunday morning that a fire had started in the complex at 1476 S. 200 E. When fire crews arrived they found the fire, which started in a nearby shed, had spread to the apartment building.
Alex Allred was staying with friends Saturday night. “I just heard a boom and wasn’t sure what that was and then someone just started yelling for help,” said Allred.
Allred and his friends weren’t sure what they heard early Sunday morning, but once they stepped outside they couldn’t miss it.
“It was just a huge ball of fire, like it was just smoke,” explained Allred. “That’s all you could really see was just a big ball of fire.”
Salt Lake City Fire Department Spokesperson Jasen Asay told ABC 4 Utah, “The flames got so hot that the fire actually traveled inside the building and there’s some fire damage in one of the second floor apartments.”
There are six apartments inside the building, but only four are believed to be furnished, and only one second story apartment caught on fire. Crews were able to get into the attic and stop the fire from spreading. The five other apartments suffered water and smoke damage.
“The difficulty with this fire was that it was so hot,” explained Asay. “The shed was back behind the building so it was difficult to get to and once firefighters got back there, they felt the heat.”
No word on who the boys heard crying for help, but fire crews are searching for the transients they believe are responsible for starting this fire.
“There were reports of transients that that had been living, or frequently visiting the shed,” said Asay. “We’re not sure if it was accidental or purposefully set. We’re still trying to determine that.”
The investigation is ongoing. It’s unclear if charges will be filed.