Fire at group home for autistic boys

Posted at 3:03 PM, Jun 22, 2013

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – Unified Fire Authority officials are investigating the cause of a fire at a group home for autistic boys in Taylorsville.

The fire began at the home located near 3300 West Hurstbourne Circle in Taylorsville Saturday morning shortly before 11 a.m.

Capt. Clint Mecham of the Unified Fire Authority said crews called for reinforcements after arriving at the scene.

“The crews went in and did an initial fast attack and confined the fire to the front bedroom as well as some damage to the eaves and some damage to some vegetation outside,” he said. “Because of the intensity of the fire when they arrived, they asked for an additional engine and later truck, which brings the total of heavy apparatus on scene to six. “

Neighbor Denise Bruun witnessed the fire, and she said one of the boys initially wouldn't come out of the home.

“I turned around, and I could see the flame in the one bedroom, and I could see one of the boys also in that bedroom, and they were hollering for him to come out, and I don't think he wanted to come out,” she said.

She said the boy eventually came out to the backyard. Mecham said the 15-year-old boy was taken to a hospital for minor smoke inhalation issues. There were no other injuries.

Bruun said there are three boys with autism who live in the home.

"It's a group home for autistic boys, and there's three boys who live there," she said.

Firefighters said they are still investigating the cause of the fire. Firefighters said the front rooms of the home were badly damaged, but they said the home should be salvageable.

Mecham said they are still assessing the situation and damages, but he said the residents will be displaced for some time because of the fire.