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Fire roars through downtown Salt Lake gas station

Firefighters break a window to extinguish a fire at a gas station at 1700 South and 900 West in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.
Firefighters break a window to extinguish a fire at a gas station at 1700 South and 900 West in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.
Yukai Peng, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City fire crews battled a large fire at a downtown gas station Friday morning.

The fire was reported about 8:50 a.m. at Capital Fuel Quick Stop at the intersection of 1700 South and 900 West. Salt Lake Fire Capt. Anthony Burton said it was unknown whether the fire started on the inside or outside of the building, but propane tanks and tires in the rear of the structure helped fuel the inferno and sent a huge plume of black smoke into the air that could be seen across the valley.

Fortunately, Burton said, an employee shut off the gas pumps to the underground tanks where cars get their fuel, preventing the fire from being even worse,

Friday afternoon, the fire department tweeted that the fire “appears to be the result of an accident involving a propane tank,” but did not offer further details.

There were no injuries. Burton said the gas station would likely be a total loss.

The first arriving crews saw a “header,” or a big column of smoke and visible flames, and immediately called for more units, Burton said. After making sure no one was in the building, he said crews went into a defensive firefighting mode, spraying water on the structure from the outside only.

Roads in a three-block area around the gas station were closed for a couple of hours as fire crews mopped up.