No charges filed after young kids set five garages on fire, police say

Posted at 9:40 PM, Apr 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-11 09:48:05-04

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah -- No charges will be filed after two children set five garages on fire in Saratoga Springs Monday afternoon.

It happened at the Harvest Hills Condos causing nearly 200 thousand dollars worth of damages. Investigators say a three and five-year-old were playing with a butane torch in one of the garages.

“I had another owner who is actually my friend call me and ask me if I was sitting down and he goes 'good because your garage just went up in flames,'” said Annesha Nelson, who owns one of the damaged garages.

By the time Annesha got to the harvest hills condos Monday afternoon the fire was out.

“I was in my apartment when I heard a big pop. It was kind of scary,” said Meyke Darell who lives in the building next to the row of garages.

Captain Jerry Lund of Saratoga Springs Fire Rescue said the kids were playing with Christmas decorations.

“They were in there lighting some Christmas decorations on fire when they burst into flames unexpectedly and it got out of hand,” said Lund.

Fire crews biggest concern was that because of the wind the flames would spread from the garage to the nearest building

“I looked up and saw smoke and I thought my building was on fire,” said Darelli. “We got evacuated we could not go inside for a couple of hours.”

Fire crews say the three and five-year-old could have easily gotten trapped.

“These kids were very lucky that they did get out of the garages in time and we didn't have two fatalities here,” Lund said.

And this is a painful reminder to parents.

“You're never too young to teach fire safety as you can tell,” Nelson said.

The fire captain says in his 27 years on the job this is the youngest he's seen be involved in the case. The youngest a person can be charged is 8-years-old, so the 3 and 5-year-olds won't be facing charges, which if they did, would fall under arson or criminal mischief.