Moab homeowners affected by fire waiting for “all clear” to begin debris removal

Jun 16, 2018, 4:06 PM | Updated: 7:30 pm

MOAB, Utah – Rick Carrigan anted to spend his Saturday cleaning up a mess on his Moab property. It’s just he can’t. He’s not allowed to.

Rick Carrigan

“This pile of garbage right here is not moving because of the pace of government bureaucracy,” he said while pointed to what’s left of his home.

Fire damage

Carrigan is one of several homeowners whose homes were burned during a fast moving wildfire earlier in the week.

He had volunteers ready to help remove debris and a friend brought a small backhoe to help him, but they had to stop Friday afternoon.

The Southeast Utah Health Department closed the area due to possible health concerns until a certified asbestos inspector can sign off on allowed people back in.

“We haven’t allowed asbestos in home construction since, what, the 1970’s? This house was built in 1997,” said Carrigan. “In fact, if you pull the file, if they would have come down, I pulled the file out of my file cabinet of when my house was built. It’s a lack of common sense. If they really wanted to do something, they can do it.”

Carrigan is hoping an inspector looks through what’s left of his home soon.

There are meetings planned for Monday with city and county officials to determine a timeline for when families can start removing debris and start rebuilding.

“In this neighborhood people will come and help us like there is nothing else. I really love the people around here and that’s why we still stay here,” said Bill Partridge, who has lived at the end of LaSal Avenue for 27 years. “Everybody here is like a family and that’s why we want to stay here. The people are amazing.”

Bill Partridge

Several businesses in the area have offered free food, lodging, and cleaning services for families who were affected by the fire.

Ten homes were burned to the ground.

Many homeowners had insurance, but two didn’t.

Even children have been raising money to help families.

“There was a golf tournament some girls won and they offered us the prize money,” said Laura Allred, who is Bill Partridge’s daughter. “Some other children put up a lemonade stand and raised a hundred dollars to donate to all the families.”

The Grand County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $1000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest of the person who started the fire.

Fire investigators say the fire was caused by a person.

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Moab homeowners affected by fire waiting for “all clear” to begin debris removal