NORTH SALT LAKE -- Some residents of a 12-unit apartment complex are grateful that a Davis County Sheriff's deputy noticed flames shooting out on Tuesday morning.
"I woke up to this cop pounding on the door," said Nikolas Prince. "I thought at first it was someone trying to rob me, but he yelled the house is on fire, so I panicked and left."
Prince said his apartment was filling with smoke and later as he thought about it, he was surprised he did not hear the smoke alarm.
The entire east wall of his apartment, which was next to where the fire started, was destroyed by the fire, he said.
"That's where all my electronics were," Prince said.
South Davis Metro Fire Chief Jeff Bassett said all the smoke alarms in the building at 50 W. Center St., North Salt Lake, were working when fire crews got the call at 5:37 a.m. Tuesday. The smoke alarms, which were operating from batteries, could be heard from the parking lot at 8:30 a.m.
It took fire crews about 15 minutes after they arrived to get the fire mostly extinguished, Bassett said. Once fire crews got a ladder up they were able to dump a significant amount of water on the fire. It left a large hole in the roof and gutted out the south side of the apartment
But it was Davis County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Boucher who alerted residents in six of the units in the 12-unit building, including the apartment in the center on the third floor where the flames were coming from.
Boucher was parked at the North Salt Lake Police Department when he saw flames and called 911 to report the two-alarm fire.
He drove over to the apartment complex, raced up the stairs and pounded on the door of the apartment that was on fire.
Those residents knew their apartment was on fire and were trying to get out, Boucher said.
"Some (of the residents) in the other apartments were already coming out," Boucher said.
Boucher, who also works part-time as a firefighter, made sure everyone was out of the building.
"It took quite awhile for some people to wake up," Boucher said.
Boucher said as soon as the apartment residents realized what was going on, they left the building.
Josh Coltes and Carlos Telford live in the apartment to the west of the one that was on fire.
"We heard this loud banging on the door and I thought, anyone who needs something at 5 a.m. can come back," Coltes said.
But the person wouldn't go away and Coltes answered the door.
"The officer said there is a fire and we need to evacuate now," Coltes said. "So I nonchalantly walked to the back door and I could see the balcony next door was on fire."
Coltes yelled at Telford.
"Hey Carlos, we need to get out of here," Coltes said as he grabbed his keys, wallet and a book.
"I figured I'd read a book until we could go back in," Coltes said.
Both said they never heard their smoke alarm.
Analia and Blake Ross woke up to noises coming from the apartment above, which was the one on fire.
When Blake Ross looked out his window, he could see an orange glow. Then they heard the banging on their door.
Elisabeth O'Dell and Nathalia Whitecar, who live in an apartment on the bottom floor, said they woke up to people running and someone saying something about a fire.
They grabbed some stuff and made it outside to wait for firefighters to arrive.
"It was scary because the fire was moving so fast," O'Dell said.
The fire caused about $150,000 estimated damage. Two units received substantial fire damage, four units had water and smoke damage and six units had only smoke damage. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Contact reporter Loretta Park at 801-625-4252, email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @LorettaParkSE.