OREM, Utah (ABC4) – A Holladay man was arrested after allegedly setting an Orem home on fire while two people were sleeping inside on Wednesday.
Daniel Richard Johnson, 41, faces one count of aggravated arson and two counts of attempted homicide, all of which are first-degree felonies.
The two inside the home were able to escape without injuries.
According to the probable cause statement, the fire started around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, March 22. Orem Fire and Police were called to the residence and were able to put out the fire after it had already burned the entire garage and most of the home’s roof.
Police say they found four new red gas cans on the lawn in the backyard and detected accelerants in multiple areas around the home. An investigation also reportedly found multiple places where the fire was started. Suspecting arson, police interviewed the home’s two occupants who reportedly confirmed police suspicions.
Johnson allegedly threatened the homeowner via text messages, including sending fire emojis. He also allegedly spoke to the homeowner and others about fires.
Upon being taken into custody, Johnson allegedly said he had caused the fires before being officially questioned by police. During an interview, police say Johnson admitted to buying gas and getting a ride to the home. Once at the home, Johnson allegedly poured the gas all around before lighting it on fire with a lighter.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Johnson gave “various explanations” as to why he started the fire.
Johnson also allegedly admitted he was OK if the homeowner was hurt in the fire, but he had tried to wake up women he believed to be in the home by knocking on the outside windows.