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Neighbor speaks after home hosting marijuana grow catches fire in SLC

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Aug 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-18 19:21:41-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Bonnie Macri has lived in the neighborhood for years and has a lot of good memories at a Salt Lake City home that was destroyed by a fire that broke out Wednesday night.

"My two youngest daughters used to have tea parties on Mary’s front porch," Macri said.

Marry Harris died recently, and she is the mother of Nathaniel Harris, the man who was arrested this week after police say they found 70 marijuana plants in the backyard.

"We asked the police to get him some help because he really needed some help, but instead they let him go, which is so strange," Macri said.

Harris posted bail and was released. Less than 24 hours later, the home went up in flames.

Macri spoke with Harris' sister, who claims her brother had been making threats when he was arrested.

"His sister told them that he had threatened the house and they still let him go," Macri said.

Salt Lake City firefighters aren't ready to put the blame on Harris, according to their Public Information Officer, Jasen Asay.

"Our fire investigators have not arrested anybody, and at this point it doesn’t appear that they’re looking to," Asay said. "They’re still looking for the evidence right now."

Fire investigators say it started in the detached garage, but they're not sure if it was intentional or accidental. However, neighbors like Macri remain skeptical.

"It's too bad we can’t get more help for people who really need it because this is the result of what happens when you don’t help them out," Macri said.

Fire Investigators have blocked off the home because the roof is unstable and they don't want anyone to get hurt. They've determined the house is a total loss and are working with Salt Lake City Police to determine a cause.