Residents feel Salt Lake City fire has turned into real life tv show

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 UTAH) – The news of an arrest was welcoming news after a construction site was burned down in downtown Salt Lake City.

The damage has added up to $2.5 million dollars and that total could rise.

Neighbors of the New House Apartment Complex say the fire came out of no where.

“I came to smiths and there wasn't a fire. I was leaving Smith’s and there was a fire. It was just all up in flames,” said Nicole Muehle.

“It was a 4-alarm fire which is pretty intense. They should be consequences for that,” said Colby Almond.

Salt Lake City Fire Department called in the help of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives Unit, better known as ATF.

They diagnosed the fire and in less then a week they arrested one man.

“I was surprised that they found him so quickly. The thing that surprised me was I didn't really hear a motive,” said Marcus Sherman.

According to a document ABC 4 obtained, the fire department arrested 33-year-old Dustin Bowman.

Bowman was an electrician on the construction site. In the document he admits to starting the fire at 540 E and 500 S.

“The guy seemed pretty happy about it on the Facebook,” said Almond.

On the same day fire crews were putting out hot spots, Bowman posted this:

“Guess I’m not working Monday. New House apartment complex under construction burnt down.”

One of the comments to Bowman, that has since been taken down said, “look at the bright side: at least you weren’t arrested.”

ABC 4 Utah’s contacted the woman about her comment. She said she knew Bowman in high school and that the comment was meant to be silly. She had no idea that he was the man investigators were looking for.

Neighbor Jenny Messer said, “That's pretty cool that they could figure out who it is.”

Most in the community say it feels like a real life TV show.

“Its like many of the shows these days, like the CSI type shows where people investigate,” said David Walton, “I think it is encouraging that that type of ability and technology isn't just on shows that they do have the ability to investigate quickly.”

Salt Lake City Fire Department and ATF can and may release more information Tuesdsay morning on just how this fire started and who they say started it.

If Dustin Bowman is their man, according to the state attorneys office he could be in court as early as Tuesday afternoon.

Stay with ABC 4 as this story continues to develop.

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