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Fire burns applied technology facility at Salt Lake Community College

Firefighters battle a fire in the Applied Technology Building, which is under construction, at Salt Lake Community College at 4600 S. Redwood Road in Taylorsville on Monday, June 22, 2020.
Firefighters battle a fire in the applied technology building, which is under construction, at Salt Lake Community College at 4600 S. Redwood Road in Taylorsville on Monday, June 22, 2020.
Steve Griffin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Fire crews from across Salt Lake County responded to a fire at Salt Lake Community College’s Taylorsville campus Monday that sent up a billowing cloud of smoke visible from around the valley.

Crews from Unified Fire Authority responded to the blaze around 5:20 p.m., which started on the roof of the college’s applied technology building, according to Unified public information officer Ryan Love.

“Once we got on scene there was a lot of smoke,” he said.

No injuries were reported, and Love said no one was in the building when the fire started.

The building is currently under construction, which Love said made suppressing the fire difficult. Because most of the walls in the building are either broken down or under construction, “the fire is able to move freely through the building,” Love said.

High winds in the area Monday also posed difficulties for crews on scene.

“The main problem right now is actually the wind,” Love said. “This is a building under construction, which means there’s not a lot of walls containing the fire ... so the wind is pushing the fire through the structure, which makes it difficult for us to get inside and fight it.”

The cause is still under investigation, but Love said because the fire started on the roof it could have stemmed from an HVAC system or electrical problems. Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office arrived on scene shortly after, flying a drone high above the building.

By about 8:30 p.m. a large cloud of smoke remained, although much of the massive plume visible from I-15 hours earlier had dissipated. Love said crews would be on scene through the night and into Tuesday morning. Damage assessments were not immediately available.

Roughly 75 firefighters were on the scene Monday evening, and crews from West Valley City, West Jordan, South Salt Lake Murray and Sandy responded.