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Investigators release more details of deadly condo fire in West Jordan

WEST JORDAN – Fire investigators say they know what happened right before a condo in West Jordan exploded, killing the woman inside.

Officials with the West Jordan Fire Department issued a statement saying they’ve determined the fire to be accidental.  Also, they say there was one major clue, inside.  Battalion Chief Bryan Crump says, “There was a knob on a gas stove in the [condo] of fire origin, in the ‘on’ position.”

Crump says they’re not sure if the gas was burning or just leaking into the condo.  However, the explosion that followed was large enough to blow out at least one window and possibly the door.  He says it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what exploded first.  “When you have that type of explosion, it is so universal in the damage that it creates, it’s truly difficult to really put it exactly in one particular spot,” crump says.

(Photo Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Crews were reportedly on the scene within four minutes of getting called.  Flames were pouring out of the windows and door by the time firefighters arrived.  Crump says, “There was fire throughout the [condo], extending to the apartment above, and had the stairwell to get out of the [units] all on fire.”

Judy Pedersen, 66, was inside the condo and was killed on the scene.  Crump says the couple living above, Shane Stegen and Hayley Morrison-Stegen, were forced to jump out of their second story window onto the downward slope of the parking ramp below.