Storage unit fire under investigation

Cedar City Fire Department responded to a fire located a Half Price Storage Monday afternoon at around 4:15 p.m. – Photo taken by Tracie Sullivan – Behind the Headlines

CEDAR CITY – Authorities are still investigating the cause of a fire that raged through the roof of a storage facility Monday damaging some of what was inside the units.

Cedar City Fire Department responded around 4:15 p.m. to reports of a fire at Half-Price Storage located at 465 N. 800 West, next to Mammoth Trailer Park.

Investigators are unsure of what caused the fire that was primarily localized in the ceiling of the building. Video footage from security cameras showed the storage unit smoking earlier in the day at about 10:30 a.m., Fire Chief Mike Phillips said, adding that it could have been burning even longer.

“There is cellulose insulation in the ceiling, which is shredded newspaper, and that type of insulation can keep a fire contained and burning for a long time,” Phillips said. “So, it could have been burning for hours before there was even smoke.”

Authorities believe the fire may have started in the middle of the building however, they have been unable to pin down an ignition source. Arson has not been entirely ruled out, but investigators do not think that the fire was intentional, Phillips said.

Fire crews were on scene within minutes of getting the call and acted quickly to stop the fire from spreading, Battalion Chief Nick Howell said.

“With the wind blowing as soon as we opened one of the units it just pushed the fire all the way down to the end,” he said. “So, we basically started working the fire on both ends trying to stop it somewhere in the middle.”

Authorities will not be able to determine the cost of damages until their investigation is complete.

Cedar City Police, Southern Utah University Police and Gold Cross Emergency Response Crews all responded to the scene.

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