WEST JORDAN — Fire investigators have determined that a two-alarm fire that destroyed a West Jordan painting business Thursday started in a van containing rags, paint thinner, lacquer and other supplies.
"The origin of the fire is definitely the rear of the van," West Jordan Fire Battalion Chief Reed Scharman said Friday. "The materials stored back there are prone to spontaneous combustion."
The fire broke out in a commercial strip building in the Bagley Industrial Park at 9554 S. Wells Circle (5710 West) just after 8:30 p.m., Scharman said. Fire crews arrived within five minutes, but smoke and flames were already visible in one of the building's four units.
"Two minutes after arrival, flames went through the roof and we called for a second alarm," Scharman said.
The building is concrete with a wooden roof and has very few windows and doors. Eventually, the roof collapsed over the "B" unit, which housed C.R. Painting, a home-painting business.
"The roof collapsed really quickly, so trying to get people in has been really difficult," Scharman said.
He said painting supplies and three other vehicles containing more paint products were all inside the unit, which was destroyed in the blaze. It is estimated the fire caused $250,000 in damage.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the one unit, and eliminate all the smoldering, trouble areas around 11:30 p.m.
"We were basically trying to fight a vehicle fire inside of a structure fire so getting to all aspects of everything ... it was quite a bit of overhaul," Scharman said. "The major flames were knocked down in the first hour, but it took that long to get all the hot spots."
No one was injured in the fire, and Scharman said the other three units were largely spared any serious damage.
"You have a little bit of potential for there to be small amount of damage, but as far as their contents, they appear to be in good shape," Scharman said.
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