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Kids responsible for Ogden house fire


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OGDEN -- Fighting flames in the heat of the day is a lot of work. That's what firefighters did Friday for the third time this week at a house-turned-apartment complex in Ogden.

"We worry about heat exhaustion," said Ogden Fire Chief Mike Mathieu. "It taxes our resources. We have to have quite a bit more come in and help relieve the exhausted firefighters."

The fire started on the front porch of the home near 22nd Street and Adams Avenue.Firefighters now say two kids were playing with a lighter and gasoline when they set the front porch on fire. One of them burned his hand and had to go to the hospital.

"It got bigger and bigger, and then it started in the window. The glass broke. It went up the poles in the house and the roof," said a resident named Joseph.

It didn't take long for the flames to start shooting out of the roof. Crews stayed on the defensive, and residents rushed out of harm's way.

"I got real scared. I didn't know what to do. It happened so fast," said Rudy, who lives in the house next door.

Rudy was asleep when the flames first started.

"The neighbors started screaming at me that my house was burning," Rudy said.

The fire ruined the home that housed two families, and it badly damaged the home next door.

"Probably around a hundred thousand [dollars], and then probably $65,000 on the second home," Mathieu said.

Eight people now have nowhere to live, but they're getting help from volunteers with the American Red Cross. The organization has had a busy week as well.

"We're making arrangements to find housing for them and get them any replenishment that they need; either furniture, clothing, etc.," said George Muller, a representative with the Red Cross.

The Red Cross says it actually has enough volunteers; it is just in need of donations for the almost 100 people who have been displaced in Ogden. If you'd like to help, visit the organization's website at www.redcrossutah.org.

E-mail: corton@ksl.com


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Courtney Orton

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