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Help arrives after Morgan County snowplows destroyed in fire

Bret Heiner, public works director for Morgan County, said there’s not much left after a fire devastated the county’s roads department building, leaving crews with just one functioning snowplow.
Mike Anderson, Deseret News

MORGAN — Several counties stepped in to help Morgan County after a fire devastated its roads department building and left crews with just one functioning snowplow.

The roads department thought it might have to scramble to find enough help to get ready for Thursday’s snowstorm — but they were wrong.

Bret Heiner, public works director for Morgan County, said there’s not much left of the shop, and firefighters had a tough time getting inside to fight the fire Monday.

“There was so much smoke and so much pressure,” he said. “They couldn’t even get the doors open. Had to cut the doors. As you can see, they had to cut the doors in half just to get in.”

An apparent electrical fire from one of the older plow trucks spread, destroying everything inside.

“Five plow trucks, a ton truck, a loader. … Ruined them all. They’re a total loss on all our equipment. Had another pickup truck that got ruined.”

With one remaining snowplow, Heiner knew the county would need to ask for help with a storm on the way.

“It’s amazing what happened after that,” Heiner said. “Every county in northern Utah responded.”

The county now has a truck from Utah County, one from the Utah Department of Transportation, two from Summit County and three from Wasatch County. Many others offered, so there’s more available if needed.

“It’s just amazing how great the people are in Utah, the outpour of support from other counties and cities,” Heiner said.

The roads department will get by for now in a smaller garage and county building. The department is still without a repair shop, but Heiner said the county has what it needs to tackle winter.

“All we could do when this happened is pray, and people just stepped up,” he said.

Unfortunately, new plows can’t be bought like cars — they have to be custom made. Heiner said the county will likely continue to depend on loaned gear for most of the winter.