Garage fire in Richmond allegedly caused by man trying to build stairs while under the influence

Derek Parkinson (inset) was arrested after a house fire in Richmond, Utah. Images: Cache County; Google Maps

RICHMOND, Utah, July 17, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials said a fire in a Richmond garage was likely caused by a man who was trying to build a set of metal stairs — while under the influence.

A news release from the Cache County Sheriff’s Office said that Tuesday at approximately 6:23 p.m., smoke was seen near a barn at a residence located at 311 N. State St. in Richmond.

“Fire units and deputies from the Cache County Sheriff’s Office responded to the location where a garage was found to be fully engulfed,” the news release said. “Prior to first responders’ arrival, neighbors were able to assist an elderly woman and male individual from the home.”

The fire was extinguished that evening, but resulted in a total loss of the garage and significant damage to the rest of the home, the news release said.

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Additional investigations were conducted the following day with the State Fire Marshal and members of the Cache County Health Department assisting Cache County Sheriff’s Office detectives in trying to find a cause of the fire.

“This investigation revealed that Derek Parkinson, a person staying at the home, was allegedly under the influence of an illegal substance while attempting to build metal stairs,” the news release said. “Sparks from that project ignited pine needles resulting in the fire.”

Parkinson was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, a third- degree felony, reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor and reckless burning, a class A misdemeanor.

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