Fire officials respond to concerns about response time after deadly house fire in Sunset

SUNSET, Utah — A house fire that killed an elderly woman Friday night is raising questions about a recent decision by the Sunset City Council to dissolve the city’s fire department.

“They need to bring it back,” said Tammey Westover, who lives two doors down from the house that caught fire. “A lot of these houses are reliant on them to be here.”

In May of 2017, the Sunset City Council voted for the city to be covered by the North Davis Fire District in a decision that upset many residents.

Chief Mark Becraft of the North Davis Fire District says firefighters arrived at the house just four minutes after receiving the call.

“A fast attack crew made entry within minutes,” Chief Becraft said. “Unfortunately, there was just too much fire.”

Chief Becraft said the six North Davis firefighters who responded did all they could to extinguish the fire.

“We’ve been scrutinized about response times, we responded well within the time,” Chief Becraft said.

But residents say this incident proves Sunset needs its own fire department. While the response time was only four minutes, Westover believes that is too long in a life or death situation.

“Five minutes worth of time could save someone’s life,” Westover said.

Westover would feel safer if Sunset had its own fire department.

Fox 13 spoke with D. Howard Madsen, the Mayor of Sunset. He said residents have no reason to feel unsafe.

“They should feel perfectly safe,” Mayor Madsen said. “They have fire protection from North Davis.”

While the mayor says he prefers the city to have its own fire department, he says voters will be able to decide the issue in a referendum on the November 2019 ballot.