Criminal investigation started over large fire at St. George LDS Stake Center


ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) – Local, state and federal law enforcement officials are now investigating a fire that destroyed an under-construction stake center located next to the St. George Temple.

The blaze broke out early Saturday morning around 1:15 when a passerby noticed the flames and called the fire department.

24 hour timelapse video of the St. George LDS building Fire. Courtesy: St.George East Stake Presidency

The department responded, entering the center, until the building’s roof collapsed from the fire. Law enforcement has determined the fire began on the building’s exterior where there was no heat or electrical source which would naturally ignite the blaze.

As a result, authorities say this is a criminal investigation, and will be treated as such until there’s reasons which would prove otherwise.

No one was hurt in the fire.

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) – A newly built LDS Stake Center in St. George caught fire Friday night, just two weeks before it was set to re-open. 

According to fire officials, the fire broke out at the East Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 453 S. 300 East around 1:30 a.m. 

The church was englufed in flames by the time firefighters arrived. 

It took crews from St. George, Washington City, Hurricane and Santa Clara nearly an hour to get the fire under control. 

The building was under renovations and scheduled to re-open in a couple of weeks but during the fire, authorities said most of the roof collapsed. It is unknown how long it will take to rebuild.

In a post on the St. George East Stake Presidency Facebook page, they said they had been informed of the fire around 2:30 a.m. 

“We were deeply saddened to have received a call at 2:30am informing us that our new St. George East Stake Center was on fire. The building that we were so anticipating moving into over the next few months is gone. Those that were up watching it burn were stunned and in complete shock. Our faith is only strengthened as we work through this bump in the road.”

The East Stake Presidency said they now are planning a community celebration and open house for June. 

No injuries were reported and there are not further details of how the fire started of the amount of damages. 

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