Fire Chief: Teenagers Caused Fire That Threatened Homes

webb hill fire
A fire last night on Webb Hill threatened many homes on Summit Ridge. | Photo by Jennifer Bonewell Turnbow

ST. GEORGE – A fire that burned three to four acres and nearly took out a dozen homes is believed to be the cause of teenagers.

Fire Chief Robert Stoker said the fire was “human caused” and felt confident in the reports he received that teenagers were leaving the scene as the fire started and quickly got out of control.

See video of the fire

The fire moved rapidly and right up to the backyards of many homes, forcing the first responding fire trucks to spread out into different cul-de-sacs and go to each home to stop the fire from destroying neighborhoods.

“It was moving pretty rapidly when we got the call,” Stoker said. “There was a pretty good wind blowing from the south.”

Stoker said the firefighters arrived at approximately 9:30 p.m. and were on scene until well after midnight.

“Our main priority at the time was protecting the houses on Summit Ridge. A couple of our trucks went on Webb Hill to keep it from spreading, but the majority went to structure protection,” he said.

He said some of the dirt roads going uphill played in their favor as a firebreak. He said the threat to the surrounding homes was “substantial.”

“It moved so fast through there, especially with the wind,” he said.

Stoker said many people don’t realize that just because there were not a lot of trees acting as fuel for the fire, the landscaping, wood decks and even cars in front of the home can carry the fire faster.

Stoker said firefighters are back on scene today investigating what was used to start the fire, and added that if they found out who did it, they can charge them at least $9,000 for the suppression costs.

He said at least 40 firefighters and 11 trucks responded, including some from Washington City.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2011, all rights reserved.

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