Three-alarm fire forces two Salt Lake County families from homes

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A Salt Lake County family of three and a neighboring elderly couple were temporarily without homes Thursday after a fast-moving, three-alarm fire broke out overnight.

Investigators said a 12-year-old boy had confessed to accidentally starting the blaze by playing with matches near an open container of gasoline.

Unified Fire Authority Capt. Clint Mecham said the first of several 911 calls came from the first home involved in the blaze, bringing UAF, South Salt Lake and Murray crews to 4394 S. 730 East.

"When the first firefighters arrived they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the carport. As they worked to lay hose lines, the flames quickly spread into the home associated with the carport and then to the neighbor's house," Mecham said.

By 1:15 a.m., crews — by then numbering 75 personnel — declared the fire controlled. Firefighters worked another two hours to douse hot spots and secure the scene.

A mother, father and child from the "extensively damaged" first home and the elderly couple from the second home, which sustained some roofing and attic damage, escaped unharmed, Mecham said.

The fire caused an estimated $250,000 damage to the first home and $150,000 in damage to the second residence.

Twitter: @remims