More than 40 firefighters from three agencies battled a blaze early Sunday that damaged at least three condominium units at 8200 S. 2300 West.
The fire, estimated to have caused $250,000 damage, started on the back porch of one of the units at the Vista Montana Condominiums and spread to at least two other units and adjacent carports. None of the residents was injured, but one Salt Lake County firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation.Firefighters from West Jordan, Midvale and the county responded to the blaze about 1:30 a.m. with five engines and a ladder truck. By the time fire crews arrived, several of the complex's residents had evacuated their homes, West Jordan Deputy Fire Chief B.J. Snooks said.
Investigators pieced through the burned-out wreckage Sunday in an attempt to determine the fire's origin. They believe the blaze started in garbage on the back porch of one condominium unit and quickly spread to the roof area, threatening a common attic, Snooks said.
Empty cardboard boxes and discarded cigarette butts were among the garbage piled up in the carport area, he said. That led investigators to theorize the blaze likely started from a still-hot cigarette.
There was no sign of the accelerant that would have signaled a possible arson, he said.
The fire destroyed one of the units in the six-unit complex. Two other units sustained less extensive damage, mostly smoke and roof damage. Structural damage was confined to a common attic area.
"They'll have to (rebuild) at least three of the apartment roofs," Snooks said. "This is a big fire. It could have been a lot worse if we couldn't have stopped it."
The common attic especially worried firefighters.
"It could have gone all the way across, and we could have lost all of them," he said.