Evacuation order lifted for Rockport Fire in Summit County
(KUTV) Firefighters are working to put out a blaze which started Friday afternoon in Summit County and an evacuation order placed earlier on more than 200 homes in the area has been lifted.
The fire is located in The Rockport Estates area of Wanship. It started Friday afternoon, causing hundreds of people to evacuate. As of 10:15 p.m. Friday, the fire was 45 percent contained and burned about 120 acres.
This same place caught fire last year, destroying more than a dozen homes. That brought a eerie sense of deja vu for a lot of people at Rockport Estates as the latest fire sparked.
"I've got my dogs up there, my two Labrador retrievers," a desperate Vicki Peppler pleaded with a Utah Highway Patrol officer blocking State Road 32 into Rockport Estates.
"We're not allowing anybody up there," responded the officer.
"I'm begging you," said Peppler, who lives on Crestview Drive. "This happened to me last year."
"We're not allowing anybody up there," the officer reiterated.
"Very sad, very sad," said Peppler as she stepped back to her car. "We've had this whole thing happen again. Not sure if I want to live at Rockport anymore."
The fire apparently sparked in a yurt -- basically a giant tent. David Chec lives right where it happened.
"Grabbed the phone to call 911, looked out the window again and saw complete walls of flames that was surrounding the guy's yurt," Chec said. He, his wife, and his son got out quickly. They grabbed cameras, hard drives, and their fire box. It's a routine they've perfected after last year. "We were out quicker and with less stress," said Chec. "We just shrugged our shoulders and said, what can you do."
Summit County Sheriff's officers went door to door, sounding the alarm for everyone.
"Because of last year we learned, and we immediately called out search and rescue, called in extra personnel, and that was our priority is, to evacuate," said Sheriff's Captain Justin Martinez.
Meanwhile, crews from several agencies descended on the rural area to fight flames on land and in the sky.
"They've been putting in dozer lines around the fire," said North Summit Fire spokesman Tyler Rowser. "We've had the helicopters and air tankers in. That helps slow down the progress of the fire."
After several hours, one thing was clear -- Rockport Fire part two is not the same as part one.
"This fire is not as rough as last year was," said Rowser.
That is a relief for people having to relive this nightmare.
"Last year was a couple of days of pure hell," said Chec. "This year not so much."
Firefighters say they do not know what caused the original structure fire that led to the bigger blaze. They say they will not get to that until they get this fire under control.
The Wanship LDS church was set up as the shelter for Rockport Estate evacuees earlier Friday evening. No one was allowed into Rockport Estates at the time and Utah Highway Patrol blocked access to the community.
This in the second time a fire has occurred in the area in a year. In 2013, 14 homes were destroyed. That fire triggered a major Red Cross response and recovery effort. Firefighters say they have learned their lessons from last year. That is why they were so quick to try to get people out this time around.
(KUTV) A commercial fire Friday evening in Woods Cross resulted in a total loss for garage door company, Overhead Doors.
Firefighters responded to the business near 2500 S. and 1500 W. just before 5 p.m. and found the building completely engulfed. Thick black smoke was seen billowing from the building from Salt Lake City to Layton.
"We had so much fire through the roof that this was called a defensive fire which means we don't go interior or inside," said South Davis Metro Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Bassett.
A homeowner whose house backs up to the business said the flames were 30 feet high.
"I went to the back door and I could just feel the heat coming through the backdoor. It was very intense," said Toua Strong, who pointed out that the siding to his house had peeled and warped because of the heat.
At least six employees were inside when the fire started, all of them were evacuated safely. Investigators were unable to determine how the fire started while interviewing the employees.
"This is a significant loss. It's a large building. It will take our investigators quite some time to go through it and process it," said Bassett.
(KUTV) A man is hospitalized after a gas explosion sparked a 2-alarm fire at a home in Draper Friday morning.
A medical helicopter and multiple ambulances were called to the home at 15091 S Junction Cir. (235 E.) shortly after the explosion at 7 a.m. The medical helicopter airlifted the man to a nearby hospital.
The sound from the explosion rocked the Draper neighborhood and many of the residents in the area told 2News about their experience.
"I was getting out of the shower and we heard an explosion and the whole house shook," said neighbor Ryan Hawley.
Shortly after the explosion, neighbors carried the body of the man to Hawley's front yard.
"He was definitely in shock," Hawley said. "He was shaking a bit. He was burned badly across all his body."
2News will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
(KUTV) Two young women were killed and three others injured in an accident local authorities say could have been avoided.
The Utah County Sheriff's office confirmed with 2News Friday that they are investigating Thursday's deadly crash as a possible DUI after an open container was found in the vehicle police believe swerved into oncoming traffic and caused the accident. It is an accident leaving family, friends and neighbors saddened and frustrated.
"It's just sad to hear that something like that happened to her," Katie Bench said of her neighbor Katie (Catherine) Hancock, 15. "She was so young and such a pretty girl and it's sad."
Police say Hancock of Eagle Mountain was riding as a front seat passenger Thursday with her father at the wheel and two young brothers in the back seat, all in seat belts, when a Ford Fusion driven by Jennifer Bailey, 28, swerved into their westbound lane on SR-73 near Eagle Mountain.
"It's estimated the force of impact was 130 miles per hour, since we believe both vehicles were driving at or near the speed limit of 65 miles per hour when the crash occurred," Sgt. Cannon told 2News reporter Amy Nay Friday.
Bailey, from Eagle Mountain, was also killed in the devastating crash. Three were taken to Intermountain Medical Center in serious condition. David Hancock was said to have improved and was discharged Friday. No update on the condition of his two sons, ages 7 and 10, in the back seat. Police say their injuries were non-life threatening.
In the Rock Creek subdivision where the Hancock family resides, friends and neighbors left messages of support and flowers on their front doorstep.
Bench told 2News, "It's hard to hear when you hear of accidents, but when you hear that it was something so close to home like a neighbor it's harder."
'Common Core Curriculum' has some wondering if federal government wants control of Utah schools
(KUTV) The controversial "Common Core Curriculum" has some critics wondering if the federal government wants to take control of education standards in Utah schools.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has already asked the attorney general to review the program and more politicians are now getting involved.
"We must monitor and limit the role of the federal government in education," said Senate President Wayne Niederhauser.
Utah sent its math and English standards, that is what kids should learn in each grade, to a consortium of states that said Utah standards are good. Some Utahns, however, including some Utah politicians fear the federal government may use this common core to take over Utah education.
"The biggest drawback with common core is the involvement of the federal government," said Sen. Niederhauser.
Last week, Gov. Herbert called for the attorney general to make sure Utah keeps control of Utah schools and does not fall for a federal takeover. President Niederhauser says there will likely be bills and a debate on common core when the legislature meets.
State School Superintendent Martell Menlove says Utah has good standards now, and politicians should not change them.
"I'm hesitant to change standards that will help our kids succeed in school and in career," said Menlove.
Gov. Herbert notes almost everyone involved wants to keep the federal government out of Utah schools, but they still want good workable standards.
KUTV CBS 2 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Salt Lake City and nearby towns and communities in the Great Salt Lake area, including Jordan Meadows, Millcreek, Murray, Holladay, Kearns, West Valley City, West Jordan, South Jordan, Sandy, Draper, Riverton, Bluffdale, Merriman, Magna, Bountiful, Centerville, Cottonwood Heights, Alpine, Highland, Summit Park, Park City, Beber City, Grantsville, Farmington, Kayville, Layton, Syracuse, Clearfield, Morgan, Roy, Ogden, American Fork, Orem, Provo, Springville, Spanish Fork, Payson, Nephi, and Tooele.