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Man accused of setting fire to his Salt Lake apartment

SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of setting his apartment on fire Sunday night has been booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.

James Timothy Brinton, 45, was arrested for investigation of aggravated arson.

About 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Salt Lake police were called to an apartment complex near 1350 S. Edison St. (just east of State), where an agitated man was reportedly creating a disturbance, said Salt Lake fire spokesman Mark Bednarik. When police arrived, they found smoke and flames coming from the apartment, he said.

Nearly a dozen people were evacuated. No tenants were injured. A firefighter suffered second degree burns on his hand while trying to hold a door shut for the safety of his crew, Bednarik said. He was taken to a local hospital.

Investigators say Brinton started his apartment on fire, causing about $60,000 damage to the complex.

Teara Grist, Brinton's neighbor, said he broke his sliding glass door before lighting the fire. She and her husband evacuated their four children to safety before pounding on other doors to alert neighbors.

Joy Butcher, 21, used a shopping cart and blankets to keep her 4- and-2-year-old children warm.

"We just ran out," Butcher said. "My mom left her shoes and her medicine behind."

— Pat Reavy and Lana Groves