Juveniles burning weeds with lighters torch Magna home; 4 other homes damaged

Photo: Lopez Family

MAGNA, Utah, July 20, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — An attempt by three juveniles, ages 10, 11, and 12, to burn weeds in the backyard of a Magna family home took a disastrous turn Thursday afternoon, nearly destroying one residence and damaging four others.

Firefighters were first called to the scene at 3574 Dunn Court around 5 p.m. When they arrived, they found the back of one home engulfed in flames, while four others were being threatened.

Unified Fire Chief Brian Anderton told Gephardt Daily the fire moved quickly, fueled by tall, dry grass, near triple-digit temperatures and a yard filled with wooden pallets, tools and other debris.

In the matter of a few short minutes, the fire spread to the back of the home, charring the exterior while burning its way into the attic.

Four others houses were scorched by the flames, which burned so hot they melted the homes’ siding and destroyed at least three neighboring fences.

Photo: Gephardt DailySLCScanner

At least one car and several recreational vehicles were torched as well.

A family of four managed to escape the home that was most heavily damaged. Firefighters say it will be months before the house can be lived in again.

Investigators were still piecing together the chain of events leading up to the fire. They were unclear if the children who appeared to have started it would face charges.

Gephardt Daily will update the story as information becomes available.

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