SANDY — Fire officials here are reviewing Monday's fatal garage fire to make sure they responded appropriately.

The fire near 8400 South and 1900 East killed 51-year-old Dr. Herbert Ungricht, an ophthalmologist, LDS bishop and father of five daughters.

The cause of the fire was still unknown Tuesday. Investigators were waiting for several test results to be returned and said it might be a few more days before the cause was known, said Sandy deputy chief Mike Veenendaal. He noted, however, that the cause appeared to be accidental.

Some questions have been raised by neighbors about why 911 was busy when they tried to call and whether it delayed responding firefighters.

The first 911 call received by dispatchers came from inside the Ungricht home at 5:07 a.m. The first responding unit, located about 10 blocks away, arrived at the house at 5:16 a.m.

Veenendaal said it was an adequate response time.

"That's what you're going to have at that time of the morning," he said. "There was no major delay."

Still, he said the department would check "to make sure there weren't any problems." A typical daytime response time is between 5 to 6 minutes, Veenendaal said.

As for 911, Veenendaal said the initial call was fine and dispatchers worked quickly and appropriately. The problem came when numerous neighbors began calling 911 simultaneously and overloaded the system.

Fire administrators and Qwest are investigating that to see if changes need to be made, he said.

But firefighters aren't sure how much difference one or two minutes would have made in this case. Veenendaal said it was a very hot and intense fire. Neighbors reported hearing several small explosions, possibly from paint or aerosol cans.

Veenendaal said that will all be part of the investigation.

"We want to know why the fire burned so fast and so hot," he said.


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