5-Alarm Structure Fire Causes $5 Mil in Damage

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5-Alarm Structure Fire

Clearfield, UT -- A fire tore through a vitamin supplement laboratory, burning it to the ground and causing several explosions.

Plumes of smoke billowed in the air above the wreckage of the laboratory.  Neighbors stood on every corner, watching it burn.

"I was very scared because with it so hot and as dry as it is and with everything going on, you don't know if it's going to spread," said neighbor Melissa Hunter.

According to the North Davis Fire District, twelve employees were in the building at the time.  Everyone evacuated safely.  

Firefighters were concerned about the chemicals inside the building that could cause an explosion.  "We had potential for explosions from a number of 55 gallon drums of ethanol that were stored in the back of the structure," said Mark Sessions of the Fire District.

A few explosions did erupt.  This was especially concerning for the business next door, a gas station.

"I was just like, stay on the other side of the building whatever you do, but I was really thankful that a Hill Air Force Base fire truck was in our parking lot because they were very good," said Cindy Percipal, operator of Walt's Gas Station.

Most businesses shut down for the day and 1,900 lost power.  Many people self-evacuated do to the smell.

"It smelt almost like burnt tires, like rubber tires, it is choking," said Karrie Barney, a neighbor.

Six firefighters were taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion.  "It puts a strain on these guys and gals.  These people have been through a hellacious firefighting experience today and they came through wonderful," Sessions said.

The cost of the fire is estimated at $5 million in damages.  There was no indication that fire sprinklers were installed at the property. 

Read the full story here. 

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