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10-alarm fire forces Herriman residents from homes again

3 homes destroyed, 2 damaged, many structures burned in Rose Crest Fire

Published: Friday, June 29 2012 8:28 p.m. MDT

"Some people came in, neighbors, and I just started handing them stuff to load into our cars. We were able to get quite a bit,” said Glauser's mother, Leisa Glauser.

“Our fence is gone and the fire retardant is all in our backyard and it’s all orange,” she said. “I don’t know how close the house is. Everything is still standing as far as the word we got."

“I saw the fire come over the ridge and within 15 minutes it was at my home,” Herriman resident Jerry Talbot said. “It traveled 200 yards in 15 minutes. It was just going like crazy.”

He said the fire was crossing the road and entering his property when he evacuated. A neighbor called him to say he could see his house.

“It looks like it’s all black around my house, but my house is still standing. Let’s hope it stays that way,” Talbot said.

He tried to save a horse, but said he was too exhausted. He has 12 goats that he left behind. “I wanted to get them out,” he said. “I didn’t have time”

“It’s terrifying,” said Angela Talbot, Jerry Talbot’s daughter-in-law. “This hits really close to home.”

She said her father-in-law had a 500 gallon propane tank on the property. “I guess we’d hear it (blow up),” she said.

Julie Forsgreen was at work when she got a phone call informing her of the fire.

“We're back up against a hill,” Julie Forsgreen said as she stood in the Herriman High School entrance hugging her daughter. “But our neighbors told us it was the hill across from us.”

No one was home so they weren't able to grab anything before the evacuation order was issued.

Gatherings

Hundreds of residents gathered at the Cove at Herriman Springs Pond, 6979 W. Rose Canyon Road, Friday evening, where every couple of minutes a helicopter would dip down to gather water before making another pass over the fire. They stood on top of hills, truck beds and utility sheds trying to keep an eye on their properties as the flames moved up over the mountains.

Other hopeful community members gathered in the Herriman High cafeteria waiting to hear if they would be able to return to their homes only to learn that no one would be returning to their homes Friday night. They remained in high spirits, however, even giving a round of applause to Little Caesar's Pizza and Cafe Rio for providing dinner.

Most people said they planned to stay with relatives or friends rather that sleep at the makeshift shelter.

"Air drops have been authorized and all efforts and resources are being directed to our fire," Herriman officials said on Twitter. Two helicopters and two heavy air tankers were called to assist in the firefighting efforts.

Prayers requested

The Rose Crest Fire is one of eight fires burning throughout Utah. Herbert asked local religious leaders to pray with him Friday.

A letter was sent to leaders of local congregations saying: "I am writing to ask you and members of your congregation to join me in praying for the elements to be moderated, the firefighters to be safe, and the lives and homes of our fellow residents to be protected. We are in need of an extra measure of help as we battle these conflagrations."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement of prayer and support Friday.

“As requested by Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert, the church is pleased to come together in prayer with other Utahns during this difficult time. We are mindful of those in Utah and neighboring states who have been impacted by wildfires. We encourage individuals, families and congregations to pray for the safety of firefighters, protection of lives and homes and favorable weather conditions to help control the many wildfires currently burning,” said church spokesman Cody Craynor.

Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon declared a state of emergency in the county due to the uncontrolled fire. “We will use all resources at our command to fight this wildfire," he said.

Earlier Friday, Corroon issued an executive order restricting the use of fireworks for all unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County, including Millcreek, Magna and Kearns.  

Contributing: Ben Wood

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam, @FinleyJY

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