Police release identity of man who died after jumping into bonfire

Published: Monday, July 14 2014 11:45 a.m. MDT

Updated: Monday, July 14 2014 1:30 p.m. MDT

This Saturday July 12, 2014, photo, shows the upper portion of a giant wooden effigy of a character from the classic children's book, "Where the Wild Things Are," before it was burnt Saturday night, during the Element 11 festival, an event similar to Burning Man, in Grantsville, Utah, about 36 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. Police say Salt Lake City resident Christopher Wallace died after jumping into the burning three-story-tall effigy.

Rick Bowmer, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

GRANTSVILLE — A man who died over the weekend after jumping into a huge ceremonial bonfire at a Utah event similar to Burning Man was identified Monday as Christopher Wallace.

The incident happened about 11 p.m. Saturday at the Element 11 festival in Grantsville.

Grantsville Police Lt. Steve Barrett said the Salt Lake man had told some of the estimated 1,200 attendees he planned to run into the fire. Barrett said the three-story-tall effigy had been burning for about 30 minutes when the man crossed safety lines and jumped in.

Barrett says firefighters immediately tried to douse the flames, but were unable to save the man. Crews measured the fire temperature at 2,000 degrees just prior to the apparent suicide.

— Associated Press

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