AMERICAN FORK, Utah, May 24, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Four children, age 5 through mid-teens, have been removed from an American Fork residence that police described as being in “deplorable” condition.
The children were taken on May 2 from the residence, at 357 East 500 South, and put into state custody.
Law enforcement became aware of the situation in mid-April, when firefighters were called to the scene for a shed fire after the youngest child, a boy, had been playing with a lighter, American Fork Police Sgt. Josh Christensen told Gephardt Daily.
When the fire was out, the residents told firefighters that the water had flooded their basement, and asked the firefighters to see if they could help, Christensen said.
“The firefighters described the home as extremely dirty, and used words like ‘horrible’ and ‘deplorable,'” Christensen said. “There were cigarette butts on the floors of the children’s rooms and garbage throughout.”
Christensen said his department worked with the Division of Child & Family Services, which had previous dealings with the family. When officers served a nuisance warrant about two weeks later, investigators found clothing and bedding, still wet from the fire response, beginning to mold, Christensen said.
“Our priority was the safety of the children,” Christensen said. “We were just happy we could make a difference.”