Salt Lake blaze injures 2 firefighters, guts 3 apartments

Silas Walker, Deseret News

People stand outside the Jefferson School Apartments, 1099 S. West Temple in Salt Lake City, after an early morning fire on Thursday, June 20, 2019. The fire injured two firefighters and forced the evacuation of 15 people.

SALT LAKE CITY — An apartment fire in downtown Salt Lake City injured two firefighters and forced the evacuation of 15 people Thursday morning.

Authorities have not yet said what sparked the fire on the third floor of the Jefferson School Apartments, 1099 S. West Temple, about 4 a.m. Thursday. But it doesn’t appear that the blaze, which caused roughly $1 million in damage, was started intentionally, Salt Lake Fire division chief Ryan Mellor said.

Flames gutted three apartments on the third floor, according to Mellor.

The two firefighters were injured on the floor’s second level when a piece of the roof fell and struck either one or both of them. Their injuries were minor.

Firefighters pounded on doors to wake residents and ordered them to evacuate.

“We were worried something else was going on, like someone was trying to get into our apartment,” said resident Shantel Rodrigues of the wake-up call.

Six apartment units suffered significant damage and six had minor damage.

The Red Cross was helping evacuees outside the building. Some of the displaced residents were told they could return later in the day.

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