You can’t imagine the panic in my throat when I received the email from Daybreak Daily telling me that a home in Daybreak had burned down. Mike and I were in St. George for the Independence Day weekend and we had just seen the news on KUTV showing us a fiery explosion in South Jordan. Daybreak Daily mentioned the specifics about the family, so I knew it wasn’t my house, but we had suffered through nightly fireworks displays of illegal fireworks from our neighbor for the last six months. He had been selling fireworks out of his garage at the Daybreak Community Garage Sale. Was it his house that burned down? He’s so close to us, is our home in danger as well?
Within seconds, Mike found the videos of the burning home on YouTube. The most informative video of the fire has been pulled from YouTube, but has resurfaced here. It showed exactly WHERE the house was (close to Soda Row) and verified that, yes, it WAS our irritating neighbor who set his house on fire. It also proved to us that our home was safe. The fire was horrific, but it didn’t spread to the neighboring homes.
The local bishop and two other ward members discuss the fire as it burns. It’s obvious that the man had a garage full of fireworks. Amazingly, the fire department showed up within three minutes. The homes are so close in this neighborhood that this fire could have been just as devastating as we imagined.
At the 5:45 minute mark, two witnesses talk about it. The speaker in bold saw what happened.
He must have had his garage open.
He did. He had it open.
He did? Well, anyway, I was way over here when that fire hit and this exploded. There was [unintelligible]. And then apparently, some of this must have tipped over or something.
Yeah, one of them hit there, hit over there, hit a guy who was… he went to the hospital.
Oh did he?
Yeah, I don’t know if it was his pants or something caught on fire. He was in bad shape.
Was it one of the guys who was running it?
No, it was one of the guys who was there. There were two: my van and his van. It just deflected off my roof and it hit him on the leg.
According to ABC 4 News, the man who was hit by the fireworks was Ryan Fischer:
“I could hear my wife screaming at me that my pants were on fire, but at the same time I could see the blood going down my legs from my cuts,” Fisher said.
Fragments of the fireworks pierced his legs and was taken to a local hospital.
KSL has yet another video here: ksl.com – Illegal fireworks the cause of 2 Utah fires
FOX 13 actually gave the address to the house: FIRE: Illegal fireworks displays set home ablaze – KSTU That would have been very helpful if we had found it before the YouTube video.
This video was filming the end of the amateur fireworks show when they realize that one of the fireworks had gone into the garage full of fireworks.
Is there anybody in the house?
Fuckin’ kitchen’s on fire. Fuck! Crap!
This next video is the iPhone video that KUTV showed and it has the most coherent explanation of what happened at the 1:23 minute mark:
The guy who was putting on a fireworks show out here, one of ’em tipped over and shot into the garage [unintelligible] with the rest of ’em.
At the 1:44 minute mark, you see a grief-stricken woman approach the fire and is pulled away by the firemen.
So, it was just like… and he musta had a lot, I mean, ’cause you can see all these.
At the three minute mark, you can see the fireman approach the house and start to spray it down with water. The fire keeps sparking up over and over with new fireworks igniting despite the gallons of water.
Fireworks are restricted in Daybreak because we have so many dry grass (wild) areas nearby. This guy was doing a fireworks show in a dry field right next to his garage FULL of fireworks. I immediately felt guilty for not calling the police on this guy because people were hurt and an entire home went up in flames, but apparently, had we called the police, we would have gotten the same reception as others did. Here is an excerpt from the discussion on the LiveDaybreak Community Council Facebook Page:
LiveDAYBREAK Community Council This is a solemn reminder of why fireworks aren’t allowed at Daybreak. Our thoughts are with those who were injured and lost their home. Please be safe over the holidays.
Dean Derhak It was a great fireworks show until it went into the garage. Maybe if Daybreak did a community fireworks show residents wouldn’t feel the urge to do this on their own. Sunday at 10:47am
Lonnie Steinke Well then why does DayBreak not enforce their own rules? We have had fireworks going off for 2 days and everyone knows we are not supposed to use it in DayBreak. We will see it through the 24th so just enforce the convenience’s we all agreed to. No reason to have them if you do not have the means to enforce them! Sunday at 11:02am
Lonnie Steinke @Dean…If you want to see fireworks just come to Eastlake and sit on the East hills and you can see the entire valley. Much better show. DayBreak does not even have enough money to enforce their own convenience’s let alone buy fireworks. Sunday at 11:04am
Wendy Memmott That is right Lonnie. I live in the townhomes and had an incident on Friday night. When calling the afterhours line, it is an answering service and they refered me to the police department. I called them, an off duty officer called me back and said, the only reason he was calling me is because he was doing security in daybreak. It is legal to light fireworks in South Jordan and I would need to take it up with my HOA. What good is having so called security if they are not going to enforce Daybreak rules?? Where they were being lit on Friday night, there is NO water sources available so if one of them would have gone awry, more than one family could have been displaced because of one person breaking the rules. Sunday at 11:09am
Wendy Memmott Jo,I tried to alert the HOA office and all I got was an answering service that had no clue. I then called the non emergency police and was told it is not illegal to light fireworks in South Jordan but he wwould go talk to them. I think there needs to be more communication between our HOA and our security. Sunday at 3:12pm
Now, they are talking about taking donations to help this family after the fire and I can’t bring myself to agree with that. Timothy Hood said it best on Daybreak Daily:
Timothy Hood on 03-07-2011 23:48
So, to clarify… The family living in the home where the garage burned:
Did not bother to purchase renter’s insurance
Set off fireworks, which is not allowed in Daybreak
Set off fireworks which are illegal in the state of Utah
Set off fireworks in a crowd of homes next to a field of dry grass
Wants others to pay for their irresponsible acts? How do we know they would use the donations/money responsibly if they prioritize purchasing illegal fireworks over renter’s insurance. The amount spent on those fireworks would have paid for more than one year’s worth of insurance.
As a renter, I am incredibly angry at this guy for giving us a bad name. While, I don’t believe that this guy petitioned for donations, I’m not willing to donate.
In the end, I’m incredibly grateful to all the people who posted the videos to YouTube and discussed things on Daybreak Daily and Facebook. Even though we were miles away, we could ascertain what happened that night and verify that our own homes were safe. There was a horrific fire in Daybreak over the Fourth of July weekend and I hope that everyone will take it to heart when they consider lighting fireworks in our neighborhood.
Update 07-06-11 3:01 pm: This is a video of the NYPD destroying 5,000 pounds of fireworks. I wonder how much that guy had in his garage.
The house has been rebuilt enough that it looks like the family is back in the home. Oh, and did I fail to mention? The idiot was doing fireworks at midnight for New Year’s Eve. It’s legal in Utah to do fireworks, but it’s STILL against Daybreak regulations.
You’d think that a trip to the hospital for both him and his son would have scared him off fireworks for the rest of his life, but apparently, it didn’t. I think we have a pyromaniac on our hands.