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Mapleton mansion destroyed by suspicious fire


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MAPLETON -- A fire in Mapleton destroyed a brand new mansion that owners were preparing to move into in just a few more days. Firefighters were called out early this morning to battle the blaze. Crews from Mapleton and two other agencies responded to the fire at 2545 S. Hidden Canyon Dr (570 West). The home is in a very exclusive new neighborhood in Mapleton known as the Triple Crown development.

Right now, the official word from officials is that the cause of the fire is suspicious. Mapleton Fire Chief Roger Michaels said, "We weren't able to save much, but we didn't lose much more than what was already gone when we got here. It went fast. There is an indication there was a natural gas explosion, whether that was the cause of the fire or if that happened during the fire, we're not sure."

Neighbors took video of the fire just as volunteer firefighters were arriving to the scene. The video showed how intense the flames were and what firefighters were up against.

Other homes were evacuated, and neighbors said they could feel the heat, even though they were more than 100 yards away. Neighbor Tony Abbott said, "It was engulfed. I mean it went fast. In fact, through the main door there, it almost looked like there was a flame thrower. It was crazy to see the amount of fire and how quick it got there. And that was, you know, 5-6 minutes after I heard the explosion."

Owners of the home declined to talk to us about it, but neighbors believe it was more than 15,000 square feet and was valued at more than $3 million.

Workers were putting some finishing touches on the home, and it was scheduled to be finished later this month.

A sign and camera equipment on the outside of the home warned people of 24-hour video surveillance and there was armed security provided by Blackwater -- a company known for proving armed security in Iraq. We contacted Blackwater and were told the sign at the house was a fake and that they provided no security to the home.

Fire investigators are still on the scene this afternoon, trying to determine the cause of the fire.

E-mail: rjeppesen@ksl.com
E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

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Sam Penrod
    Randall Jeppesen

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