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3-alarm blaze guts Taylorsville condo

SHARE 3-alarm blaze guts Taylorsville condo

Investigators believe flammable art supplies caused a three-alarm fire that destroyed one condominium and damaged three others Sunday morning.

The fire at the four-unit condominium at 4318 S. Haverford Court (1235 West) was reported at 10 a.m. When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames pouring out of the patio doors on the west side of the two-story structure.Capt. Bill Brass said a planned fast attack on the fire was thwarted by a dry hydrant. Firefighters quickly connected their hoses to a fire engine water tank while a working hydrant was found. The delay cost them a couple of minutes, he said.

Fighting the fire was further complicated by the collapse of the top floor of the third unit into the basement. The resulting "lean-to" effect made it difficult to reach the flames, Brass said.

Firefighters cut a hole through a wall of one of the adjoining units and managed to extinguish about 95 percent of the fire, Brass said. By the third alarm, more than 40 firefighters were battling the blaze.

After the fire was brought under control, spot fires in the attic and other locations kept crews on the scene for almost four hours.

No one was injured, but one unit was destroyed, three sustained water damage and all four sustained smoke damage, Brass said. The loss was estimated at more than $250,000.

Brass said one resident told investigators that she may have accidently knocked over a flammable liquid used in her art work. She said there was a flash fire in the room within a minute after she smelled fumes.