East Carbon City girl dies in house fire alone, firefighters didn’t know she was inside

Mar 29, 2021, 8:19 PM | Updated: 8:21 pm
East Carbon City girl home alone dies in house fire...
An overnight house fire in Magna (12/16/19) Photo: Derek Petersen | KSLTV

EAST CARBON CITY — An 11-year-old girl was killed in a house fire early Sunday morning in the small town of East Carbon, Utah near Price. Police say the girl was home alone, and firefighters didn’t know she was inside. 

East Carbon City Officer Chad Neilson tells KSL when a firefighter arrived at the house around 1 in the morning, it was already engulfed in flames. He noticed smoke was coming out of the door, so he ran to the neighbor’s house. 

“The neighbors claimed that they saw the car leave around 10:00 p.m. that evening. And we know what cars they drive. Both of their cars were gone from the household.”

Officer Neilson says those two factors made firefighters believe the family was gone.

“The little girl being 10 years old, 11 years old we thought that she was gone.”

Neilson says firefighters couldn’t enter the home because they’re all volunteers, and unless they know someone is inside they’re not going to risk getting hurt. 

He says the nearby Wellington fire department was then called to the blaze.

“It was shortly after that the parents showed up and informed us that the little girl was in the house.”

The girl was left home alone

Nielson says they’re pressing no charges of neglect on the parents, because “there’s no law to charge the parents with.” Utah law doesn’t dictate at what age parents can leave their children home alone.

“She was home alone at night, we don’t know why.”

Neilson, who is one of the town’s four police officers, says he knew the girl.

“She was very independent she was smart, so unfortunately the parents felt like they could leave her alone.”

The Wellington fire department made this post to their Facebook page. 

At 1:47am this morning, WFD was called to assist East Carbon Fire Department with a structure fire on Carson Street. Wellington responded with an Engine and was advised while en route that the home was fully involved with heavy flame and smoke showing. Upon arrival at 2:11am, responding Wellington units found heavy smoke and fire and ECFD engaged in an exterior attack. During these efforts, firefighters were notified there was possibly a child still inside. A rescue operation was immediately enacted but due to the extreme heat and smoke inside the home, command relayed to the rescue team this was likely a recovery operation. Within minutes of entering the home through the bedroom window of the trapped occupant, the victim was located and removed and loaded into a waiting ambulance and transported. Unfortunately everyone’s worst fears were confirmed and the victims injuries were unsurvivable. Please keep the victims family and friends in your thoughts and prayers along with the first responders in this unimaginable tragedy.


Other Reading:

Fire in downtown SLC quickly extinguished, no injuries

One person found dead after Ogden house fire

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East Carbon City girl dies in house fire alone, firefighters didn’t know she was inside