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Man charged in fireworks-sparked blaze that damaged house


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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Prosecutors have filed a misdemeanor charge against a man accused of setting off July 4 fireworks that sparked a grassfire in a suburban Salt Lake City neighborhood.

Charges filed Monday say 49-year-old Richard Otterstrom of Cottonwood Heights used aerial fireworks in a restricted area, leaving embers that set dry brush ablaze.

Prosecutors say Otterstrom stopped using the fireworks when he saw the field on fire, but didn't call 911. They say it spread rapidly down a gully, damaging fences, a play area, a shed and a house.

Authorities say there was at least $1,500 in damage, though they're still investigating exactly how much.

If convicted on the reckless burning charge, Otterstrom faces up to a year in jail.

No attorney was listed for Otterstrom in court records, and he didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

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