Bystanders delay emergency response to house fire in Price

Jul 25, 2023, 3:00 PM

a fire destroys a home in price...

A fire destroys a home, and four to five cars on July 20, 2023 in Price, Utah. (Price City Fire Department)

(Price City Fire Department)

PRICE, Utah — Firefighters in Price suffered delayed response times Saturday after bystanders blocked access to an active house fire.

A Facebook post from Helper City Fire Department detailed the frustrations of the crews.


The house fire started when a vehicle in the carport caught on fire, spreading to the home.

Price, Helper, Wellington and East Carbon Fire Departments rushed to the scene. Helper arrived five minutes later than the rest.

Helper Fire Chief Matt Montoya said there were approximately 50 cars jamming the street when he arrived. Bystanders had driven to the home to take photos. Montoya said he had to get out of the truck and direct traffic just to access the home.

“We understand that people are curious when they see smoke and hear sirens, but we still got a job to do,” Montoya said. “The bottom line is if we’ve got somebody that’s in the house that we can’t get to and it takes that extra five minutes, that could be life or death in these situations.”

The home was a total loss and the owner also lost four, possibly five, vehicles.

“Somebody is losing their property, they’re losing everything they’ve worked hard for and it’s sad to think that people will actually think more to pull their cell phone out and record a scene or take pictures, rather than ‘what do we need to do to help these folks?” Montoya said. “Let’s stay out of the way and avoid taking pictures. This is people’s livelihood that we’re dealing with.”

Montoya said that although the department is grateful for community support, this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Related: Salt Lake still facing triple-digit temps, heat wave not slowing down

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

SALT LAKE CITY — An attorney representing a group of former employees and contractors of Operatio...

Lindsay Aerts, Larry D. Curtis

‘These allegations are true,’ say former OUR employees about Tim Ballard

An attorney representing a group wanting to make a public statement about Operation Underground Railroad read a statement Thursday morning.

18 hours ago

A Salt Lake City Police patrol car blocks the entrance to a credit union located at 769 East South ...

Mark Jones

Suspect in alleged credit union robbery arrested by SLCPD

Salt Lake City police announced Wednesday the arrest of a 41-year-old man in connection to a robbery of a credit union on Monday.

1 day ago

West Valley City police say a suspect in connection to a fatal shooting on Sept. 15 is in custody. ...

Mark Jones

Suspect in West Valley City fatal shooting in custody

A suspect wanted in connection to a Sept. 15 fatal shooting in West Valley City has been arrested, according to West Valley City police.

1 day ago

The Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD) requested help identifying a suspect who appears to ha...

Derrick Jones

SLCPD seeks help identifying person who left suspicious package downtown

Police said the package was left near 20 West 200 South on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023.

1 day ago

Image of a box trailer, the site of a fire in Millcreek that killed a man on Tuesday night....

Mark Jones

Man dies in Millcreek fire, box trailer used as housing destroyed

A man in his 60s died in a fire in Millcreek Tuesday night. Unified fire said the structure that burned was being used as temporary housing.

1 day ago

A solar panel at the entrance to the Shepherd Union Building at Weber State University is pictured....

Simone Seikaly

Swastika scratched into table at Weber State, found on Yom Kippur

A student reported seeing the swastika at the Shepherd Union on the Weber State campus.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Bystanders delay emergency response to house fire in Price