SOUTH JORDAN — A Tuesday fire that damaged eight homes and forced the evacuation of a neighborhood was ruled to be a "human caused accidental fire," according to a news release issued Thursday by the South Jordan Fire Department.

Officials say the fire, which began around 4:15 Tuesday near the Glenmoor Golf Course, was caused by a resident lighting a pile of cotton the size of a dinner plate on fire in their backyard.

The fire spread quickly, igniting cotton droppings from cottonwood and poplar trees in the area. Approximately 20 homes were evacuated and many homeowners used their own hoses to fight the blaze, including three individuals who received minor injuries.

In addition to the eight homes, several sheds and other structures were damaged by the fire.

“This is another example of how fast and dangerous fire can be,” South Jordan Fire captain Nathan Morreale said in a prepared statement  “Even a small fire with small intentions can have dramatic effects.”

Benjamin Wood