La Verkin house fire leaves 1 man homeless

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LA VERKIN, Utah - Firefighters are investigating the cause of a fire that left a man homeless Tuesday.

The fire broke out just after 2:30 p.m. at a home near 300 West and 600 North. Neighbor Judy Smith said she’d just taken her dog outside, and smelt an electrical burning. By the time she got back inside, the fire had started.

“I heard a big boom,” Smith said. “I looked out the window and smoke and flames were just shooting right at my house.”

Firefighters from Hurricane, Colorado City and Washington City responded to fight the blaze. Hurricane City police Sgt. Brandon Buell said by the time crews arrived the old log house was completely engulfed, so firefighters took a defensive approach, protecting neighboring buildings.

“In doing so they were able to suppress the fire, keeping minimal damage to any structures around it,” Buell said.

Strong winds fanned the flames and brought them very close to some of the other homes. One house received damage to the outside siding, while a large Cottonwood tree in a neighboring yard also caught fire.

“That was probably 100 to 150 feet away from the structure that was initially on fire,” Buell said.

Flames also burnt through a utility pole, knocking out electricity to over 1,300 Rocky Mountain Power customers. Workers had power restored to the majority of the neighborhood by nightfall. Police say none of the homes were ever officially evacuated, but many residents left the area on their own.

“I just knew to get out and get away because if my house caught on fire, we had to get out before that happened” Smith said.

The man who lives in the home did get out safely with his two dogs.  Buell said there were no injuries.

Firefighters are still investigating a cause, although neighbors say it appears the fire started in the garage. Firefighters are calling it a complete loss.