SPRINGVILLE, Utah - Fire crews are investigating what sparked a blaze at a building on Main Street between 200 South and 400 South in Springville Thursday.
Firefighters were called to the Brown House of Fine Arts Gallery, Studio and Bill Brown Realty just before noon Thursday for what turned into a 3-alarm fire.
Fire crews from Springville, Provo, Spanish Fork, Mapleton, Salem and Payson all came to help fight the fire, Springville Police Lt. Warren Foster said.
"These are old buildings and because there are so many attached, it can get out of hand in a real big hurry," Foster said.
Bill and Marilyn Brown have owned the buildings for more than 20 years. The fire damaged the businesses, apartments and many of their paintings.
"It's a treasure to us,” said Bill Brown. “My wife and I paint, and it's been a good retirement hobby. You don't make any money from it. You do it because you love it. It really hits the old heart."
At the time of the fire, the Browns were away for a wedding for their niece in Salt Lake City. Their niece had just moved into one of the upstairs apartments in the burned buildings. Their apartment was filled with all the wedding gifts for the bride and groom.
“It’s really a very sad occasion,” Brown said.
The apartments above the fire as well as businesses nearby were evacuated while crews fought the fire for more than an hour before getting it under control.
“So we were scared. It was scary for us,” said Vanessa Stevens, Owner of Nest on Main. “It was just two doors down and we weren’t sure if it would spread.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the tenants who lived in the upstairs apartments in the buildings. The money will be used to help them replace their belongings and find a new home.