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Accelerant fueled deadly Draper house fire, investigators say

By Jessica Ivins | Posted - Jul 28th, 2014 @ 7:03pm

DRAPER — Natural gas did not play a role in a house fire that killed a Draper man, fire officials announced Monday. But another form of accelerant caused the fire to spread rapidly, leading investigators to believe it was intentionally set.

An explosion at 15091 S. Junction Circle (235 East) rocked the neighborhood in the early morning hours of July 25. Debris from the blast struck surrounding homes and woke neighbors, some of whom came outside to see what was going on.

One neighbor told investigators he saw the home’s owner — 40-year-old Paul Broadhust — burst through a screen door onto the second-floor patio and watched as the patio collapsed. He was flown to University Hospital’s burn center with critical injuries, but died later that night.

Broadhust was alone in the house at the time of the fire — his wife and two children were in Idaho visiting family.

Fire investigators worked with Questar to rule out natural gas as the cause. Canines detected an accelerant that is believed to have contributed to the fire — something that indicates it was intentionally set.

As of Monday, there were no active leads or suspects, according to Unified Fire officials.

The home was completely destroyed in the explosion, which also melted siding on some nearby houses. Siding, insulation, toys and glass littered yards nearby.

Neighbors have set up an account* in the family’s name for donations at Wells Fargo Bank.

Contributing: Spencer Hall and Emilee Eagar

* has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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