Series of structure fires in Ogden prompts officials to investigate cause

Local News

OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – The investigation of the two fires that destroyed half a dozen buildings in Ogden is underway and a person of interest was taken into police custody. However, she was later released.

After Monday night’s inferno, first responders are focusing their efforts on bringing some relief to those affected by finding the fire’s cause.

“At this point, it’s just too early to say if it was an arson or just an accident,” Ogden City Fire Marshal Kevin Brown told ABC4 late Tuesday afternoon.

He explained that fire officials are using two dogs to help them figure out a possible cause. He added: “It will take them about an hour to go through the scene just to check it over depending on if they find anything or not. If they do, there will be some additional digging and some confirmation.”

This comes after a series of structure fires, the first starting at 3:30 p.m. Monday at an abandoned house near Washington Blvd. and 29th St.

“The concern was it was going to spread to the apartment complex, but fire crews were able to make it on scene and stop that before that happened,” Deputy Fire Chief Shelby Willis told reporters. “And then later on at 10:30 at night is when the apartment complex caught on fire.”

This second fire started just down the street from the first near the intersection of 28th St. and Grant Ave.

Around 12:30 a.m., firefighters had the blaze mostly under control and at the same time, about 100 yards from the scene, Ogden police officers took a woman into custody.

Officials said she was questioned this morning before being released sometime in the afternoon.

Police told ABC4 there currently is no suspect.

To help find the cause of the fires, Ogden City Fire called in backup for the investigation. Brown stated, “In addition to Ogden City Police, we’ve called in the ATF and the Utah State Fire Marshal.”

Fire officials said the investigation could take days. Brown told ABC4 the hardest part of the investigation is figuring out where the fired started.

If officials do find the source of the fire, it still may not be able to prove arson — especially if the fire started in the unfinished apartment building.

“There could have been solvents, or accelerants used in the construction process,” Brown explained. “You know, we don’t know what was gasoline powered in there.”

The fire department is asking anyone who saw anything suspicious near the areas of either fire within the last few days to report it to the department. The Ogden City Fire Department can be reached at (801) 629-8069.

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