Dramatic video: Crews battle grass fire outside Shriners Hospital in SLC, witnesses report ‘kids running from scene’

*WARNING:Video contains graphic language

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 17, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Fire crews battled a grass fire not far from Shriners Hospital late Saturday night, and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

SLCFD Division Chief Ryan Mellor said the fire, at 1250 E. 11th Ave., was called in at about 10:12 p.m., and crews worked hard to get it extinguished within roughly 20 minutes.

Area residents were worried about the highly visible flames and the smoke that filtered through the night air. People lined the sidewalks in the Federal Heights neighborhood out of concern and curiosity.

“It looked pretty impressive,” Mellor told Gephardt Daily, “but it probably burned not even an acre.”

He said no structures were involved, “although it came close,” and a call went out that smoke was pulled into the Shriners Hospital HVAC system, but it did no damage there.

“We had reports of some juveniles seen running from the area,” Mellor said, but so far no one has been located as a suspect, and the cause of the fire is as yet undetermined.

A neighbor who was interviewed by investigators on scene told Gephardt Daily that she was about a quarter of a block from a group of kids who lit off a firework that bounced off of a utility pole and into the field.

“The kids took off running while the field exploded in flames,” the neighbor said, adding that there were about four carloads of young people in all. “I could hear them yelling, ‘Oh, s***’ and then ‘Let’s get the f*** out of here!'”

SLC Fire Department investigators were still looking into the incident and combing the area for evidence long after the fire was out.

Gephardt Daily will update this story as more information becomes available.


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