MAPLETON Twenty to 30 Mapleton residents turned out this weekend to help clean out the fire-damaged office of Mormon filmmaker Richard Dutcher.
Dutcher, whose films include "God's Army," "States of Grace" and "Brigham City," said working in the smoke-covered office was hard.
"It feels like all of us have been smoking a six-pack of cigarettes" a day, he said.
The fire Thursday was attributed to spontaneous combustion in a pile of rags that had been used to apply linseed oil to the woodwork on the ceiling. Damage was estimated at up to $200,000. Dutcher had moved his Main Street Movie Co. from Provo to the new offices less than two weeks before. The offices were adjacent to the Mapleton Volunteer Fire Department, which was not staffed when the fire broke out.
The volunteers helping out praised Dutcher's work.
"I am helping out because Richard Dutcher has done so much to help out the community with his movies," Benjamin McCulloch, 15, said.
Dutcher's contributions to Mapleton and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been many, said Tracee Comstock, who spearheaded Saturday's effort.
"We've taken our family and our children to see his movies and I think that he's been a pioneer in the (Mormon) market," she said.
Dutcher, who has lived for seven years in Mapleton, a community of more than 6,000 about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City.
"Mapleton is wonderful," he said. "The community support has been great."
Dutcher said he and his team have been working nonstop to move materials out of the office to a temporary office space. The volunteer effort of the town's youth was a much needed break, because "me and my team are exhausted," he said.
Kendra Lauder, 14, said she wanted to help Dutcher because "it's a good service project" and she loves his movies.