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Suspected Salt Lake City arsonist arrested and charged

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Fire investigators have a suspected Salt Lake City arsonist behind bars.

Captured on surveillance video the morning of November 25, investigators say 35-year-old Mohamed Zaid set a dumpster on fire in the alleyway next to American Towers located at 48 West Broadway.

Mohamed Zaid Booking Photo

A probable cause statement indicates, “the video shows Zaid looking back at the fire, then walking away.”

Alleyway next to American Towers

A little time later Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said, “Down there at the La France Apartments, some of the tenets hear a commotion and go down to the basement, and they see another fire started in the basement with some combustibles.”

Charging documents state Zaid broke into a storage room and was seen “feeding a fire by placing objects on it to make the fire bigger.”

Gill said, “They actually helped as the initial respondent to using fire extinguishers to put out that fire, and when you have an inhabited structure there is always that increased danger for a loss of not only property but life.”

Court records show Zaid took off when the tenets found him. One of them followed behind on a bike until the police could make an arrest.

“At the time of the arrest, the suspect was found with lighter fluid that would be consistent with lighting that fire,” said Gill. “I think the best thing is, luckily there was some alert tenants there and they avoided what could be further tragedy.”

Residents and business owners told ABC4 News Zaid was living in the area but was homeless. One business said they fed him from time to time.

Court documents show Zaid is under investigation for another arson case on November 20.

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