Suspicious fires now include 2 church buildings

| October 31, 2010

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Two chapels and one house go up in flames within a couple of hours of each other, and all are within a mile radius in distance. Police suspect arson.

Shards of broken glass stick out of blackened out windows giving anyone a look inside at the charred debris. It’s what’s left of this LDS chapel after a fire ripped through it at 3:30 this morning. Gray ashes fill the steps leading to the front doors of this church located on 32nd South and 3rd East.

David Young, the stake president says, “it’s a great tragedy that anyone would attempt to destroy a house of the Lord.”

Just as fire-fighters got this blaze under control, another LDS ward house goes up in flames just before 7 this morning. It is less than a mile down the road at 27th south and Main Street. Fire fighters instantly became suspicious.

“We have an arson k-9 on scene searching for arson accelerants,” says Gary Keller, South Salt Lake Police.

As soon as the yellow caution tape goes up to rope off a building they now consider a crime scene, they get word of some more flames shooting out of a home in the same neighborhood, but this time, it’s a house on 5th East and 29th South. Crews used gallons of water to battle the hot spots from the outside, while from the inside you can see the fire foam gushing out of this busted out window. 3 back to back fires all within a mile of each other kept fire fighters busy in the early morning hours as they battled to save two buildings of worship.

“It’s a tragic loss for the community,” says Keller.

They’re places where hundreds of people spend their Sundays. All church members will be reassigned to other wards while the churches get repaired.

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Category: Church Security

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