HERRIMAN, Utah (ABC 4 News) – A hot Ford Taurus started the Rose Crest Fire in Herriman at 3:17 p.m. Friday.
The owner told ABC 4, with a quivering voice and tears running town her face, she parked her car in a dry grassy area moments before the fire started.
Investigators suspect her catalytic converter sparked the fire. They can heat up to more than 250 degrees and can set dry grass up to eight inches away ablaze.
The owner talked exclusively with ABC 4. She doesn’t want us to reveal her name or show her face.
She says grabbed a hose and buckets of water to put out the flames. Her son grabbed a sleeping back to smother the fire, but nothing worked.
The fire raced up and down the hillside and consumed a juniper tree in a matter of minutes.
She says she feels terrible about the four homes destroyed because of the accidental fire her car started.
Julie Balazs watched the fire ignite from her home about 500 feet away as she was preparing for her daughters wedding reception planned about three hours after the fire started.
She heard what she described as blood curdling screams coming from the neighbor, who started the fire.
Julie says 30 foot flames surrounded the southern portion of her home in a matter of minutes. It was moving so fast she took refuge in an open area in her back yard and prepared to jump into a small fish pond if the heat became too intense.
Julie says she carried her teenage wheelchair bound daughter, who has spina bifida, to get away from the flames but was trapped when she could not carry her up a long path of steps surrounded by trees.
Julie waited with her daughter not knowing what to do. Then she says a miracle happened. A neighbor came to their rescue. He brought a chair and together Julie and the neighbor saved the teens life.
Julie found scorched trees where she was stranded with her daughter.
Julie is rescheduling her daughters wedding reception later this month.
No one was harmed.
Two horses and one goat survived 611 acre fire with minor burns to their noses. One wild raccoon was found dead.
Four horses remain unclaimed at the Salt Lake County Animal Services. The owner will need to ID the horses with vet records and pictures.