Government Sues Homebuilder Over Construction-Sparked Fire

Hundreds were forced from their homes in the blaze.

📅   Wed July 13, 2016 - National Edition
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The U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah says the blaze started after Patterson Construction workers added flammable ignition accelerant to a track hoe several times in an effort to get it started.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah says the blaze started after Patterson Construction workers added flammable ignition accelerant to a track hoe several times in an effort to get it started.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Federal prosecutors have filed a $1.6 million lawsuit against a Utah homebuilder accused of sparking a 2012 wildfire that torched more than three square miles in Utah County.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah says the blaze started after Patterson Construction workers added flammable ignition accelerant to a track hoe several times in an effort to get it started.

Federal attorneys say there was no water truck nearby despite the tinder-dry conditions and the blaze spread rapidly out of control and burned for a week, forcing hundreds from their homes.

The suit from the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies seeks fire-fighting costs plus interest and penalties.

The suit names Patterson Construction and companies involved in the project to build new homes near Alpine.

Patterson did not immediately return a call for comment.