No injuries or major damage reported in fire at Joseph Smith Memorial Building

No injuries or major damage were reported after a fire was extinguished at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday night.

The fire started on the second-floor roof around 7 p.m., according to Church spokesman Eric Hawkins. “The most likely cause of the fire is from combustible construction materials that ignited on their own,” he said in a statement on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Hawkins expressed gratitude for the quick response of emergency personnel, who were able to extinguish the fire and were on-site conducting their investigation. “We are also grateful that no one was injured in this incident and that property damage is minimal and the building will be operational tomorrow.”

Salt Lake City Fire Department Capt. Anthony Burton said floors that were affected by the fire were evacuated, and the fire was knocked down within 30 minutes, according to the Deseret News.

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building — a multipurpose, 10-story administrative office building and social center — is located on Temple Square at 15 E. South Temple. It was built in 1911 and originally called the Hotel Utah.  It reopened in 1993 for office and meeting space operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It also provides space for public event hosting and dining options. 

After closing in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building reopened to the public on July 6.