Food left on the stove apparently started an apartment fire that caused more than $40,000 damage and injured a neighbor Friday night.
Tenant Emil Wells was out shopping and his wife, Teresa, was returning home from work when the fire broke out in their kitchen at the Granger Apartments, 3344 S. 4000 West, said West Valley fire Chief John Williams.The apartments are owned by the Salt Lake County Housing Authority.
About 6:35 p.m., firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke billowing out of the vents of the two-story townhouse duplex, said Williams. The fire burned up the staircase and ignited the upper floors.
Next-door neighbor Wayne Jorgensen, 21, suffered minor burns on his right hand when he tried to put the fire out. He was sweeping the floor in his side of the complex with his sister when he smelled smoke.
"I walked outside to see what was burning and glanced around the corner and saw the smoke," he said. "I thought, oh, my gosh, number 1 is burning, and ran to the front to break down the door."
When the door didn't budge, he went for the windows. As he popped the screen off one window, the flames jumped out and seared his hand. He was treated at the scene. The five Wells children were not at home.