Firefighters battled flames and high temperatures during a house fire Saturday afternoon in west Payson that left two firefighters with heat-related injuries.
It appears a fire started on the deck of a large, two-story home in the 300 block of North Antelope Point around noon, according to a Payson Fire Department battalion chief.
The occupant of the home reported hearing a noise on the back porch and when he went outside saw flames. He called 911 and safely got out of the home, the official said.
An off-duty Payson firefighter in the area heard the first alarm tone on his pager and got to the home first. Additional firefighters arrived, but the fire was already well established, working its way quickly up to the attic, the official said. A second alarm was called and firefighters began to attack the fire from the outside since it was too dangerous to go inside the burning structure.
Four years ago, the town sold its only ladder truck to another community and has yet to replace it. Payson firefighters had no way to reach the upper level and attack the flames and had to wait for the Hellsgate Fire Department from Star Valley to arrive with its ladder truck to reach the upper level.
Besides the size of the home, the high temperatures made it difficult for firefighters. It was 96 degrees in the shade, one official said. Two firefighters were treated on scene for heat-related injuries.
Crews eventually got the fire knocked down. It did not spread to the vegetation or nearby homes.
The occupant later told officials he had been staining the porch and left a pile of bunched up rags on the porch.
A fire official said while the cause is still under instigation the fire likely started when the oily rags heated up and there was spontaneous combustion.