CLINTON ---- Firefighters not only had to battle with single digit temperatures, but with a buried fire hydrant, propane tanks and 22 shells at a house fire early Wednesday morning.
Clinton firefighters were called out to a fire at 12:20 a.m. to 2841 W. 1010 North that left a family without a house and caused $200,000 worth of damage, said Clinton Fire Chief Dave Olsen.
“The preliminary investigations shows the homeowner had put ashes and coals from a wood burning stove in a bucket and left it outside for 24 hours,” Olsen said. “He then put the ashes in the trash can on the east side of the house. There were still some hot spots.”
Those hot spots caused the trash can to catch on fire, which spread to a 2008 Ford F350 truck and a toy hauler trailer, The flames then spread to the eves of the garage and a neighbor spotted the fire and woke up the family, Olsen said.
The four family members got out of the house and fire crews rescued the two dogs inside.
When firefighters arrived, the flames coming from the truck and trailer were 20 feet to 30 feet tall, Olsen said.
“I would like to remind people to go outside and dig out the fire hydrants close to your house,” Olsen said.
Crews were delayed by minutes as they searched for the fire hydrant that was buried in snow across the street from the home.
The heat from the fire also caused the 22 shells stored inside the trailer to go off, Olsen said.
“We had live ammo rounds firing around us, but we had emergency crews on hand so no one got hurt,” he said.
The propane tank also posed a problem, but there was no “big bang,” Olsen said.
Olsen advises those who have wood burning stoves to “really douse those coals and ashes before you put them in trash cans. They can smolder for days even in these temperatures.”
Fire crews from North Davis and Layton also responded to the house fire. Fire crews stayed at the house for almost five hours to make sure hot spots were not active.
The city’s public works also were called out to put more sand and salt on the road in front of the house to prevent extreme slick conditions caused by the water used to put out the fire,