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Neighbors believe cottonwood seeds helped spread fire to house in Springville, reignites next day


SPRINGVILLE — Fire ripped through one house Thursday and damaged another, and neighbors believe cottonwood seeds on the ground contributed to the spread of the fire from the yard.

“There was just stuff everywhere,” Braden Storrs said on Friday. “Pretty wild.”

Storrs said the fire on 300 East near 1800 South started at approximately 8 p.m. when someone spotted flames in the backyard of one house.

Surveillance video shared with KSL-TV showed the steady progression of the flames across the ground toward the house, which was most damaged by the blaze.

Security footage shows flames approaching a Springville home as the fire burns from another house.
Security footage shows flames approaching a Springville home as the fire burns from another house. (Photo: Nancy Hernandez)

“I heard a big, loud knock at the door and I’m like, ‘That’s weird,'” Storrs said. “I go out, and I kind of walk out, run out, and they’re like, ‘fire!'”

Storrs said he and other neighbors grabbed a fire extinguisher and hoses and fought the fire themselves with fire crews on the way.

Ultimately, the flames spread to the home, fully engulfing half of the house, including the carport and two cars.

“The tires on the cars were exploding, one by one,” Storrs said. “You could hear them going off.”

Storrs said some of the family members were home at the time, and the homeowner was asleep, but her two sons got home from the recreation center when the fire was spreading and got everyone outside.

“Luckily, everybody was safe, no injuries,” he said.

A Springville Fire and Rescue spokesman said the cause was still undetermined as of Friday evening.

However, Storrs said he and other neighbors believe a coating of cottonwood seeds on the ground helped contribute to the spread of the fire to the house, which also damaged the side of his own home.

“The wind was blowing and just thick with cottonwood,” Storrs said, noting the trees behind his house and the neighbor’s house. “That stuff is just incredibly flammable.”

Braden Storrs shows the damage done to his house.
Braden Storrs shows the damage done to his house. (Photo: Tanner Siegworth, KSL-TV)

He said he had learned of other past fires in the neighborhood involving cottonwood seeds, but he said those fires had apparently been put out quickly, unlike this one.

Neighbors said the removal of the trees likely would be very expensive.

“Yeah, (it’s) just not a good thing,” Storrs said. “Understand that if something happens, it’s literally like 10, 15 minutes, and your whole house is up in smoke.”

Storrs set up a GoFundMe* account to assist the displaced family with expenses.

The house caught fire again later Friday night. Police said they didn’t know how the second fire started.

The house caught fire again later Friday night.
The house caught fire again later Friday night. (Photo: Braden Storrs)

*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.



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