Fires damage homes, condos

Blazes occur in Layton and 2 sites in S. Jordan

By Joseph M. Dougherty
Deseret Morning News
Two homes and two condominium units were damaged by fires Monday, including one authorities believe was deliberately torched, one they say was started by sparks from a downed power line and another that began in an outdoor animal cage.
It appears a rabbit pen next to a Layton home was ignited by a heating lamp about 12:40 a.m. The fire spread to the garage, about a foot away, said Layton Fire Battalion Chief Ryan Eckardt.
Two children and their parents were at the home, located at 873 S. 350 West, and all were able to escape.
The mother was in the home's kitchen, heard the crackling and saw the flames. She called 911 while her husband used a fire extinguisher and a garden hose on the flames, which crept up the garage wall, Eckardt said.
They did the right thing.
"Some people make the mistake of trying to put out the fire and then call 911 when it gets out of hand," Eckardt said.
When firefighters arrived, the back of the garage was on fire. Flames spread to the eaves and into an attic space, causing $50,000 in damage.
"Once it gets inside the attic, it's tough to get to," Eckardt said.
A home that was under construction in South Jordan near 9700 South and 1400 West received minor damage at about 8 a.m. from a fire that authorities believe was intentionally set, according to deputy chief Chris Evans of the South Jordan Fire Department.
Police haven't named any suspects and don't believe it is linked to other recent fires in the area. A damage estimate was unknown.
Also in South Jordan Monday, a Swanson Building Materials truck was delivering Sheetrock to a construction site and caused several thousands dollars worth of damage when the boom of the truck touched a 46,000-volt power line.
The accident happened about 2 p.m. near 10800 South and 1500 West. As soon as the arm of the crane touched the power line, it blew all the tires off the truck, Evans said. The men who were moving the Sheetrock were fortunate not to be injured, he said.
The power surge resulted in damage to two nearby condos. Fire broke out in the basement of one and the garage of the other. Parts of the exteriors of each condo were also blackened, including a light that was blown off the garage of one condo, Evans said. A gas line and water line were also broken.
One man inside the condo suffered minor injuries when he inhaled powder from a fire extinguisher while trying to fight the fire.
Early estimates placed damage at $15,000.
The Layton family was offered Red Cross assistance for shelter needs, but the parents declined because they can stay with other family members for the time being.
Hunt said a 60-watt light bulb appears to have burned the wooden rabbit pen, where the family kept one rabbit. The light was there to keep the animal warm, but light bulbs can get hot enough to burn wood.