Heat lamp causes fire, displaces Clearfield family

Tuesday , August 05, 2014 - 12:27 PM

Standard-Examiner staff

CLEARFIELD -- A heat lamp may have caused a fire that displaced a family Monday afternoon.

North Davis Fire District Fire Chief Mark Becraft said the exact cause of the fire is under investigation by fire officials. 

Allie Kilburn, 17, was home alone at 576 E. Maple St., in Clearfield, when she said she smelled smoke. Her mother, Brandi Kilburn, and her older sister, Hollie Williams, had gone shopping.

“I was home, playing a video game, sitting there in the living room, when I smelled smoke,” Allie said.

Allie said she looked in the kitchen first and then outside. She walked down into the basement and opened her bedroom door.

“It was all white. I couldn’t see anything,” the teenager said. 

Allie called her mom, then got her cat and small python snake out of her room. By then, the smoke alarm had gone off.

Allie said her cat knocked over a heat lamp onto her bed. 

Allie said she was able to get all but two kittens out of the house before she no longer could stay in the house. 

Brandi Kilburn said the house was filled with smoke when she arrived. She called her husband and considered putting the fire out in Allie’s room with a garden hose, but the smoke was too thick. Her daughter, Hollie Williams, called 911.

Becraft said the call came in at 2:17 p.m. Seventeen firefighters from North Davis Fire District, Sunset, Clinton and Layton responded. When crews arrived at 2:24 p.m., there were some flames coming out. Maple Street was closed to traffic while crews worked on the fire and cleaned 

Brandi Kilburn said dispatchers put her daughter on hold for eight minutes.

“That is ridiculous,” Brandi Kilburn said. 

Becraft said the response time to the fire was “pretty fast” considering firefighters had to put on their turnouts, as well as get the large fire engines on the road. 

The family has been displaced because of the smoke and fire damage to the home, Becraft said. 

Estimated damage to the home and contents is about $50,000, Becraft said. 

Becraft said one of the problems with the fire is it was in an older home. The homes in that area are bungalow-style with basements that do not have separate entrances and windows that are 2 feet wide. 

“Those basements hold a lot of heat,” Becraft said. 

An alarm went off at Clearfield Community Church, which is a few blocks away, Becraft said. He sent Sunset firefighters to check it and found that all was OK. A fire started by an old computer on March 19, 2013, burned down the building, causing almost $1 million in damages. The church is getting ready to dedicate the new building in September. 

Contact reporter Loretta Park at 801-625-4252 or lpark@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @LorettaParkSE. Like her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SELorettaPark.

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