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Teen charged with setting Utah group home ablaze

Published July 10, 2013 4:35 pm

Investigation • Police say alleged arson was a failed suicide attempt.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A 17-year-old boy was charged Wednesday with setting fire last month to the Taylorsville group home where he was living in a failed attempt to kill himself, police say.

The teen was charged in 3rd District Juvenile Court with one count of arson, a second-degree felony.

The Salt Lake Tribune does not typically identify juveniles charged with crimes.

Police said that on June 22, the teen was living at the Chrysalis Group Home, 6278 S. Hurstbourne Circle (3340 West), when he sprayed deodorant on clothing and set it on fire, according to charging documents.

A staff member heard crackling noises coming from the bedroom area and found a fire burning on or near a dresser next to the bed.

The teen refused to leave, so the staff member evacuated the other residents.

A few minutes later the teen came out on his own and hid under the backyard deck until police were able to get him out.

The teen told investigators that he didn't want to hurt anyone other than himself, charging documents say. He was treated for smoke inhalation and released. No one else was injured.

Six people living at the home were displaced by the blaze, which caused about $135,000 in damage.