String of suspicious fires in Provo has firefighters on alert

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A string of fires Tuesday morning has Provo firefighters on alert .The Provo Fire Department says all three fires are suspicious and could be connected to other fires that occurred earlier this month.

"We need to find out who is starting the fires so that we can keep our community safe," said Provo resident Kathy Perides.

Perides tells ABC 4 Utah she is concerned for what is going on in her neighborhood. Firefighters says within one hour of each other three fires were deliberately started. The first fire occurred just before 4 a.m. at a vacant apartment building at 1585 west Center Street.  

The second, a vehicle fire near 550 west 600 south and the third fire a debris pile behind a vacant house at 551 south 400 west, all in Provo and all suspicious.

"A vacant building won’t start on fire by itself there's no utilities to these buildings so there’s no power or gas and so this hour in the morning it points the finger that these are suspicious. They just didn't happen by themselves,” said Chief Gary Jolley with Provo Fire and Rescue.

Now, with help from an accelerant-detecting K-9, fire investigators are gathering evidence from each fire. That evidence will be taken to the state crime lab for further analysis, but right now fire investigators believe all three morning fires are connected  "Certainly makes me consider this to be all part of one person or group of persons, said Provo Fire Marshall Lynn Schofield. 

Provo fire also says Tuesday’s fires could be connected to 10 other fires started earlier this month.  "We had three fires two weeks ago up at the Riverwoods. Tonight we had three fires in three different locations. Again, I haven't made a direct link, but certainly its worth looking into,” said Schofield.

Meanwhile, Provo residents like Perides say they are keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.  “I haven't noticed anyone around, but I am for sure going to be keeping my eyes out and speaking to my neighbors,” said Perides.

The Provo Fire Department is working with law enforcement on locating a white GMC pick up truck with a rack and a partial plate 855. They are also looking for a black pickup truck. If anyone has any info you are asked to call police.


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