Businesses damaged in mulch fire suffer financial loss

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SOUTH SALT LAKE -- Businesses damaged by a massive mulch fire last Thursday are still recovering, and they've taken a big hit financially.

They're hoping to address their concerns during a City Council meeting in two days. It will be a chance for the businesses affected by the fire to vocalize what they hope will happen next. They're worried about another fire -- another fire could mean people lose their jobs.

"There's a whole line of people depending on us for income that are not covered by our insurance and then of course all those families," said Steve Getz who is the President of American West Laboratories.

The fire gutted part of his roof and left a lot of smoke and water damage behind. His insurance will pay just enough to keep his workers employed for 90 days, but his company will suffer. Lost revenue could mean an unstable future.

"We have no idea at this time how long it's going to take," Getz said.

As he picks up the pieces, another business next door to Diamond Tree Experts where the big compost fire erupted is facing the same fate.

Ed Rollins, the GM at Broken Arrow Communications is doing his best to pay his employees.

"A lot of these guys are married, with kids they need to support their families, that's tough we're trying to do whatever we can to supply the hours, they're cleaning up the docks wiping off docks, it's probably going to kill us labor wise but at least they are getting hours so they can stay working feed their families," Rollins said.

While they struggle to survive, the company responsible for the mess has kept itself quietly tucked away from the public and their neighbors.

"We've seen nothing from Diamond Tree, nothing," Rollins said.

No apology and not even an effort to offer a helping hand,” he said. "It would have been nice if he could have at least come by and said, ‘hey I'm sorry, I'm working to make it better,’ anything would have been nice."

Some businesses have been fighting to get Diamond Tree Experts out for years mostly because this isn't the first time a fire has been sparked by spontaneous combustion there.

They're hoping the City Council will step in.

"We're supposed to meet with the City on Wednesday to talk about our concerns," Getz said.

Fox 13 has been trying to reach someone at Diamond Tree Experts since Thursday night but our calls have not been returned.

2 comments

  • Rory Siwik

    Living near this pile…. it smells awful, and has lit on fire before… The sheer size of the pile is massive which makes handling a fire a significant challenge. I own a house almost a mile away off west temple and 33rd. It still smells of smoke. I will be there Wednesday at the council meeting. The business license should be pulled.

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