Fire investigators think a pair of oxygen tanks may have added fuel to the flames that destroyed an apartment on Wednesday, Dec. 20 in Moab. The fire, which destroyed one unit in a three-plex at 55 East 100 South, sent a resident to Moab Regional Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. According to Moab City Police (MPD) spokesperson Sgt. Bret Edge, one firefighter was treated and released.
Neighbors on 100 South called 911 and units responded moments later at 11:26 a.m., according to Grand County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) dispatch records. Multiple agencies responded to the scene, including Moab Valley Fire Department (MVFD), Grand County EMS, GCSO and MPD. A total of 15 firefighters were dispatched to the call.
MVFD Lt. Erik Edge said one woman escaped in the unit and that her oxygen tanks caught fire in the home. The apartment was fully engulfed when first responders arrived at the scene, Edge told The Times-Independent.
“[Oxygen] wasn’t the cause, but it was a factor that could have helped the fire grow,” Edge said.
According to Bret Edge, the resident of the apartment has received an “outpouring of support from the community,” and a Moab hotel has donated a room for at least two weeks. Members of Moab’s LDS First Ward are collecting food and clothing donations to assist her. Anyone seeking to assist with the donation effort should contact Katherine Holyoak at 435-259-6875 or 435-260-1557.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Lt. Edge said.