OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – Just over a month ago, a fire broke out at a new apartment complex in Ogden and devastated a neighborhood. Officials are now saying the cause is arson, and are asking for the public’s help finding the culprit. A tip that leads to an arrest can lead to a $5,000 reward.
June 28, 2021, was a Monday. That evening, a fire broke out near the intersection of Washington Blvd. and 28th St. in Ogden. Firefighters worked through the night to extinguish the massive blaze, and in the morning, the extent of the damage revealed itself. A new apartment complex, a handful of homes, vehicles, and businesses were either damaged or fully destroyed. Ogden City officials determined that in total, the fire caused more than $3 million in damage.
Soon after the fire, Ogden City fire officials determined the cause of the fire was human. However, they did not know if it was an accident or arson.
Now, investigators have determined the cause is arson. They are still investigating to find the culprit(s).
“(We) do believe it’s arson at this point and so we’d like to follow that path and see who could step forward and help us with that,” Ogden City Fire Marshal Kevin Brown told ABC4.
Brown was on scene the day after the fire to help find the origin. He had state officials bring in dogs to search for a fuel source.
Due to the magnitude of the fire, Brown told ABC4 that local officials immediately reached out to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (also known as ATF) to lead the investigation.
The ATF and Ogden Police Department are now offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.
“I think it would just take the right piece of information for us to really put a nail in it,” added Brown.
Brown explained that their investigation led them to believe the fire was caused by arson. However, he said they cannot reveal what was used to start the fire because it may lead to false witness statements. He did say they can tell the public that they do know the fire was started inside the apartment building.
Brown also told ABC4 that officials do believe there were first-hand witnesses of the arson thanks to tips and interviews that have already taken place.
He said, “People in the area and neighbors in the area have said there was quite a bit of foot traffic at the start of the fire.”
Brown said investigators have already interviewed many potential witnesses, but have not yet had any suspects in the case. While the investigation continues, Brown would ask for the public to be patient.
“It takes time to develop the leads, to have a hypothesis and run it and test it and see if that theory holds, and then just track down all the witnesses and statements, and it all takes time, so it is frustrating,” Brown said.
Anyone with information about this crime should contact the ATF Hotline at 888-ATF-FIRE / 888-283-3473, Ogden Police Department Detective Allred at 801-629-8496, or Weber Area Dispatch at 801-395-8221 (refer to case #21G44558).
Information can also be sent via email to ATFTips@atf.gov, through ATF’s website at www.atf.gov/contact/atftips.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously by using the Reportit® app, available from both Google Play and the Apple App store, or by visiting www.reportit.com.