Early morning blaze engulfs church in Cottonwood Heights
A meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah was engulfed in fire early on Sunday morning. Unified Fire Authority (UFA) released a statement to the public saying that their firefighters arrived at the site – 3625 Doverhill Drive – at 2:45 a.m. By the time they had arrived, the building was engulfed in flames.
Wasatch 6th Ward member Connor Dearden was witness to the site of the meetinghouse ablaze around 2:30 a.m. on his way back from the airport with his mother.
The firefighters were summoned by a neighbor and were greeted by dense smoke and leaping flames on arrival. The hallways, the main areas, the walls, the ceilings – all sustained heavy damage. UFA suspected that the fire had started in the foyer.
Keith Garner, UFA explained how smoke damage can be just as debilitating on a property and requires the property to be rebuilt. While they couldn’t approximate the cost of losses suffered, they were certain the monetary loss was significant for a building of its size.
By around 3:30 a.m., the fire had been extinguished. It took a total of 40 minutes for the job to be done. No injuries were sustained. Many residents stood watching.
Dearden reminisced how the meeting house was intertwined with his childhood. He had fond memories of attending church and playing out on the lawn in front. It was naturally disturbing for him to see the place burned down.
The community came together to support each other in the face of this devastation. Thankfully, the fire didn’t reach the chapel. The building itself, however, was significantly damaged by the smoke.
Sunday services held at the church have been moved for the time being, to another meetinghouse at a mile’s distance.
The reason behind the fire has not been determined yet. The UFA has ruled out any suspicious activity. However, they’ve asked anybody with any information to reach out to them or the Unified Police Department.
The church building may have been destroyed, but the memories remain. The future of the building is still uncertain, and it may be some time before new plans for the building are released.