MURRAY, Utah (ABC4) – Police have arrested a man believed to have intentionally set fire to an apartment building in Murray.
27-year-old Forrest Xavier Wilkinson was taken into custody for aggravated arson.
Firefighters responded to reports of the fire at the Stillwater Apartment complex around 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
According to arresting documents, a witness to the fire reportedly saw Wilkinson on the third-story balcony of an apartment before the fire broke out.
Wilkinson allegedly told the witness “there’s about to be a fire.” He then laughed and ran down the stairs yelling “fire,” the witness told police.
When officers spoke with Wilkinson at the scene, he “began making excited utterances stating that he had to tell the truth and that he was being followed by police so he had to light his apartment on fire because he did not know what else to do,” according to arresting documents
He then told police he sprayed lighter fluid all over his apartment and set it on fire with a piece of paper.
A police K-9 later detected an accelerant on his shoes.
These photos show the charred aftermath of the fire.
Dozens of people were evacuated as a result of Thursday morning’s fire. Fortunately, no residents were injured, but one firefighter did suffer a knee injury.
Wilkinson is currently being held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail.