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National Guard begins reimbursing Herriman residents for fire damage

Posted - Sep. 24, 2010 at 5:36 p.m.



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HERRIMAN -- The National Guard is beginning to make good on its promise to reimburse Herriman residents for damages caused by a wildfire earlier this week. The guard has opened a claim center where it is reimbursing people on site.

Residents were lining up at Herriman City Hall Friday to file claims with the military. So far, everyone seems to be happy with the way things are going.

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"The process is really smooth," said Herriman resident Gary Barnes. "The guard, everybody has been helpful and friendly, and they just seem like everybody wants to jump in and take care of you and do whatever they can to help you out."

"They were really, really nice; and I think they are really apologetic because they didn't mean for it to happen," said Herriman resident Corinne Dansie.

Military officials say they are reimbursing people for everything from home and property damage to food and lodging expenses for the time residents were evacuated. They ask people bring picture ID and proof of the damages incurred -- like pictures and receipts. They have been reimbursing residents on the spot.

"We're trying to make this as easy as possible, and so far it's been a success I believe," said Lt. Co. Patrick Osmond, of the Utah National Guard.

The military has had claim experts fly in from all over the country to expedite the process. Officials say they've received over 200 claims so far.

Utah National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Hank McIntire said no one has tried to dupe the Guard, and he warns residents not to file a claim with the National Guard and their insurance company.

"We do advise people when they come in of the penalties for fraud," he said.

The Guard will be processing claims for about a week. Officials say they've received over 200 claims so far.

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Story compiled with contributions from Jennifer Stagg and Cleon Wall.

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