Alex Carillo was on his way to feed cattle when he saw the smoke. A house near 7400 South on State Road 65 Hyrum was in flames. Carillo used his cell phone to snap some of the first images of the burning home.
"Since right now it's time to do like, start working on the grounds I thought they were just burning the ground," says Carillo as he scrolls through the pictures. "But once I looked deeper into it I saw that it was a house that was in flames not a field."
Hyrum Fire Chief Kevin Maughan says five departments in the valley responded to call at around 11:45 AM Friday, March 29 . According to reports from first responders, the fire started on the south side of the house, near the carport. A vehicle was engulfed by the fire which they say was fed by two propane tanks attached to an outdoor grill. Firefighters were inside the house putting out the flames, but 45-minutes in it became too dangerous and they moved their efforts to the exterior of the home. Crews funneled water from a porta-tank on the road, some 600 feet away from the house.
"We have a structure that's been remodeled a number of times that's hindering our ability to get into those places where the fire is reaching into attic spaces and in between walls," Maughan says. "The fire was knocked down in a fairly quick time. Water has been an issue. It's in the county. We have no hydrants we've had to have a shuttling system. It's been a long hard fire fight."
58 year old Jolanda Clavel lives in the house with her husband and another man who rents the attached apartment. She says she was in the kitchen when she “heard a spark.” Clavel went downstairs to inspect the electrical box but everything seemed okay. She didn’t think to check outside. Clavel’s daughter, Matee, translates for her mother who does not speak English.
"She said she didn't know what was happening," Matee says."These folks who were driving by came into the house and told her and that's how she got out. She didn't know the house was on fire."
Adan Clavel had some time off work this week to visit his daughter in Ogden who just had a baby. He arrived home to find his wife and grandchildren safe, but the ruins of a home they’ve lived in for 13 years..
"I'm crying because this is what I do for my whole life, he says. "Too many things inside, my computer everything, papers, everything is inside. I don't know what i can do now. I don't have idea."
Initial estimates to the extent of damage is still unknown, but Chief Maughan says the home could be a total loss.