ST. GEORGE — An older man’s neighbors rallied around him after his home caught fire in Bloomington.

The St. George Fire Department and other responders extinguish a fire in a Bloomington man’s attic, St. George, Utah, Jan. 1, 2024 | Photo by Stephanie DeGraw, St. George News

The man’s attic and chimney smoldered just after 3 p.m. Monday on Moqui Drive. St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker told St. George News that a neighbor noticed dark smoke emanating from the home’s eves.

“Upon our arrival, we did find heavy smoke showing from the attic area of the home,” he said. “Once our crews went in, we checked both the ceilings on the inside of the attic. The further back into the home we came toward the back patio, we did find fire in the attic.”

The rear pillars supporting the deck and the roof structure from the walkout basement area up through the patio appeared to be on fire inside, Stoker said.

“At this point, we’ll start our investigation to see what caused the fire,” he added. “It did travel through that pillar. It’s a wood-framed pillar with stucco on the outside. And so it did burn the structure membranes pretty much out of that pillar and then spread right up into the attic. Crews were able to get ahead of it again in the attic and got it stopped.”

Smoke billows from a Bloomington man’s attic, St. George, Utah, Jan. 1, 2024 | Photo by Chantell Putnam, St. George News

The fire chief said most of the fire damage is isolated to the pillar and the attic area on the backside of the hull, and the ceiling and drywall sustained some water damage.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and the firefighters took photos before it was extinguished. They also were going to interview the homeowners and witnesses, Stoker explained.

Witness Chantell Putnam told St. George News via email that she was the first to see the smoke and called it in. She helped get the homeowner, who was in his 90s, and his dog out of the house. Other neighbors offered to let the man stay with them if he desired.

“The firemen were able to put out the fire … and save a majority of the elderly man’s home,” she said. “We had lots of neighbors who rallied around to make sure he was taken care of and everything was OK. All of the fire, EMS and police officers were the real heroes and it was incredible to watch them in action.”

Seven fire trucks responded, including fire engines and two ladder trucks for heavy rescue. Stoker said St. George police and a Gold Cross Ambulance assisted.

Stoker thanked the Santa Clara/Ivins police and fire departments, which stepped in to assist in covering the surrounding area while his department was tied up.

This report is based on statements from police, emergency personnel or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2024, all rights reserved.