LAYTON — An insurance investigator has joined Layton police and firefighters to discover the cause of a fire that destroyed a home and shed.
“The fire is still under investigation,” said Layton Fire Marshal Dean Hunt.
Doug Bitton, the fire department’s public information officer, said the homeowner’s insurance company is helping the police and fire department to determine what caused the blaze that started Monday morning at 239 W. Barbara St.
No one was living inside the home or in the shed out back. Fire officials said the fire was started in two places — one inside the house and the other inside the shed. The shed appeared to have been converted to a living area.
When fire crews arrived shortly after 1:30 a.m. Monday, flames were coming out of the roof of the home.
The owner of the property told fire officials she was renting the home to her 53-year-old son, Ronald Alvin Hand, who had been in the Davis County Jail since June 7. He was released from the jail later on Monday.
According to county records, Ronald A. (no other name) and Shirley Bingham are listed as trustees for the property.
Layton City Prosecutor Marlesse Jones said Bingham had made arrangements to meet with a contractor and a city official Monday morning to discuss repairs to the house that had been ordered on May 8 by Layton’s justice court.
“There is an agreement with the court, and a timeline for parts of the home to be fixed and addressed,” Jones said.
According to documents from Layton’s justice court, Hand was charged on April 28, 2011, with two counts of deleterious objects or structures, class B misdemeanors; and one count of parking on soft surfaces, a class C misdemeanor.
On May 8, 2012, Hand and Bingham signed a stipulation probation agreement in justice court. The list of repairs and dates the two agreed to included:
• All vehicles and trailers would be registered by June 1.
• The roof would be repaired by a licensed contractor by July 1.
• The hot water heater and furnace would be inspected and repaired by Aug. 1.
• The interior of the home would be inspected and cleaned of any mold and animal feces by Sept. 1.
• All broken furniture and household items would be fixed or removed from the house by Oct. 1.
• The house would be habitable by Nov. 1.
Hand and Bingham could not be reached for comment.
Since 2006, Layton police’s code enforcer has been at the home at least 40 times to check on complaints, which included junk in the yard, overgrown weeds and unlicensed vehicles, said Police Lt. Garrett Atkin.
On Dec. 21, 2010, Hand pleaded guilty to one count of deleterious objects or structures, one count of prohibited parking and one count of real property to be kept clean. He was fined $1,100 and placed on 18 months probation.
On Aug. 31, 2011, Davis County Animal Control arrived at the property because of a complaint that the resident had too many cats, said Clint Thacker, director of Davis County Animal Services.
“Layton City only allows three cats,” Thacker said.
Thacker said the animal control officer met with Hand at the home and Hand admitted the cats on the property were his. Hand would not allow the officer into the house.
Animal control officers served a warrant on Sept. 28, 2011, at the house and confiscated 15 cats, some of whom were pregnant. Thacker said animal control officers found cats living in the attic, in box springs and throughout the house.