Nine cars damaged by fire as July 4 fireworks create busy night for SLC firefighters

SALT LAKE CITY --  July 4 proved a busy night for firefighters in Salt Lake City, and one blaze under investigation destroyed three vehicles and damaged several others.

"Yeah, super busy night. We had multiple just small outside fires and some a little larger, but it's been a busy night," Battalion Chief Kelly Carter of Salt Lake City Fire said.

Fire crews from Salt Lake City Fire responded to nearly a dozen fires overnight in the Salt Lake City area. Unified Fire Authority said that on July 4 they had 45 calls, which generated 85 responses. Firefighters say each response represents one UFA crew responding to an incident, so the number of responses is always higher than the number of calls.

In 2017, UFA had 31 calls and 99 responses on July 4. UFA says this year they had more fires but they were of a smaller scale. Unified Fire Authority covers 14 cities and townships in Salt Lake County, as well as the unincorporated areas of the county.

One fire was near 400 East and Wilson Avenue and broke out around midnight. Salt Lake City Fire Crews responded to a report of a structure fire and arrived on scene where several cars were on fire along with nearby grass, trees and a fence.

Firefighters say the vehicles were parked behind the home and the narrow street made accessing the fire difficult at first.

"Crews had a little difficult time just getting down, getting hose lines in place, but once they got hose lines in place had it under control fairly quickly—within 15 minutes," Carter said.

The homeowner told investigators he was storing the vehicles for a friend. Four cars were completely destroyed and about five more were damaged.

The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation, but neighbors told Fox 13 they saw fireworks going off moments before the vehicles ignited. The damage is estimated at $150,000.

Another fire near Hayden Road south of 1000 East is also suspected to have been caused by fireworks.