SALT LAKE CITY

Sugar House fire evacuees share their stories

Oct 26, 2022, 1:24 PM

evacuees Sugar House fire...

A firefighter pours water on a blaze at an apartment building under construction near 1040 E. 2220 South in Sugar House in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. The fire, which started Tuesday night, prompted the overnight evacuation of hundreds of nearby residents. (Jeffrey D. Allred/ Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/ Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — As many as 200 people from nearby apartments became evacuees due to a huge fire that started burning at a construction site in Sugar House late Tuesday night.

The fire began burning in an unfinished apartment building at 2220 South, just west of Highland Drive. 

Some evacuees stayed in the clubhouse of the Forest Dale Golf Course in Sugar House, others stayed at a stakehouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mackenzie Jones with the American Red Cross said they were there to help people stay warm during a cold night.

“We’ve got food, water, snacks, things like that, to try to keep people as comfortable as possible,” Jones said, “and of course a warm building since it’s pretty cold out.”

This is not a drill

Evacuee Jeff Driggs told Utah’s Morning News that he was awoken by the fire alarms.

“Alarms were going off, and then firefighters started going through the building pounding on doors saying ‘this is not a drill, everyone get out!'” Driggs said. He stayed the rest of the night at the Forest Dale golf course clubhouse.

“They opened up the course, the Red Cross came in providing some food I guess. I don’t think anyone down there got any sleep tonight.” Many evacuees said they had to catch a bus ride to the evacuation centers since some couldn’t get to their cars.

And for some that didn’t sleep, they mingled and got to know some of their neighbors. They said that was part of making the best out of a bad situation.

“With nothing else to do, trying to conserve our phone batteries and stuff, we got to talk a little bit and connect with everyone,” said Juliana Massey.  She lives in the Sugarmont Apartments with her partner and dog.

Evacuees who registered with the Red Cross received an e-mail telling them it may be some time yet before they’re allowed to go home.  

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

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Sugar House fire evacuees share their stories