Sandy City charts response plan, after fire destroys 11 snowplows

SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Municipal leaders are laying out plans to replace more than half the city snowplow fleet, after an overnight fire burned through the public works building.
 
Sandy City Mayor Tom Dolan says the fire destroyed up to $5 million in property at the facility located at 8775 South 700 West.
 
By Friday morning, the fire was out and worry was setting in, as city officials tried to determine their next move.  
 
"This fire is something unusual," Dolan told reporters. 
 
It was late Thursday night that crews responded to the four-alarm blaze and found tall flames tearing through the garage area and south part of the building 
 
"It was a difficult fire just because of the amount of fuel load in there.  You had rubber tires, diesel fuel..." Sandy City Fire Chief Bruce Cline recalled.
 
Authorities say about 100 firefighters from every agency in the Salt Lake Valley battled the flames for four hours until they had a good handle on them.  Crews did manage to salvage the north side of the building.  Still, a large portion of parking bays, snowplows, and offices are gone. 
 
"We have another large warehouse building for our public utilities where we're moving services over to that facility for our office staff," Dolan said. 
 
Eleven of Sandy City's 18 snow plows burned up in the fire.  That, alone, is roughly a $2 million loss.  Now, public works officials are trying to figure out how to replace those plows before the next big snowstorm hits.
 
"We're actually very grateful -- thank you, Lord -- for allowing us to have a week to recover from this," Dolan said.
 
That is, if Mother Nature stays true to her current forecast. 
 
Dolan says in the meantime, crews will retrofit three brand new vehicles the city had already bought and some ten-wheelers from the public utilities department to help plow snow. 
 
He says right now, it is too early to announce any long-term plans. 
 
"We will be looking at leasing options, purchasing options, there's a lot of different ways.  We just haven't settled on all those things yet," Dolan explained. 
 
Despite unsafe conditions -- including a caved-in roof -- fire investigators are now up against, they say they think they have found a point of origin. 
 
"[It is] kind of where all the trucks are stored," Cline said. 
 
They say preliminary evidence points to either electrical or mechanical issues on a 10-wheeler parked in that area. 
 
Mayor Dolan says he wants to thank the all cities, agencies, and individual firefighters who have stepped in to help. 
 

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