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Sandy man escapes house fire through bedroom window

Home had no working smoke detectors, firefighters warn

SANDY — A Sandy man escaped his burning home through a window early Sunday.

Firefighters responded to the home near 9000 South and 400 East shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday when a man awoke to sounds of the blaze that had nearly consumed the house.

As soon as firefighters at a nearby station opened the bay doors to respond to the call, Sandy Fire Battalion Chief Eric Larson said they could see the smoke and glow of the fire in the distance.

"They knew what they were getting into," Larson said. "They found the house pretty much fully engulfed in fire."

The flames had spread too far through the house for the man who lived there to make it out the front door, according to Larson. He was forced instead back into a bedroom where he climbed out a window to safety.

The man, who was the only person in the home at the time, was outside and uninjured when firefighters arrived.

The home did not have working smoke detectors, Larson said.

"It's a good reminder to everybody to make sure their smoke alarms are working and the batteries are fresh," Larson said. "He was extremely lucky to get out with his life."

The cause of the fire, which appears to have started in the garage, remains under investigation, he said. The home was expected to be a total loss and would likely need to be demolished following the fire.

Neighbors were also forced from their homes as firefighters tried to douse the flames.

"It was a little scary, the smell of the smoke and everything," said Chelsi Jenkins, who lives next door.

Jenkins said she awoke to flashing red lights, crackling sounds and law enforcement knocking at the door. She and her grandmother were allowed back into their home once firefighters had the nearby blaze contained.

"It reassured us when they said they had it under control and we could stay," Jenkins said. "They do a good job. It's nice to know that we are protected. It's a hard job that I would never want."

Contributing: Sean Moody