Investigation Underway After ‘Suspicious’ Fire At Church In Layton
LAYTON, Utah – Layton Fire Department responded to a small fire in a church building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Monday afternoon.
Chief Jason Cook said they were alerted to the fire by a group of missionaries. Cook said the missionaries said they were playing football in a field adjacent to the church. They went into the church with permission to use the restroom, Cook said.
“When they entered, they realized there was smoke in the building,” Cook said.
The missionaries determined the smoke was coming from the gymnasium where there is a stage.
“Someone got in the building and lit a series of curtains on fire,” Cook said.
The missionaries said they found a fire extinguisher in the building, and extinguished the fire. A group of missionaries outside the building said they noticed a car fleeing the back parking lot, Cook said.
“We knew it was suspicious in its origin,” Cook said. “The fire was caused by no other reason than an intentionally set fire.”
Cook said as they were ventilating the building, they noticed a bulletin board with papers ripped off and strewn about. He said there was paper material adjacent to the curtains.
“They lit the paper there on fire, and used that to start the curtain on fire,” Cook said.
“Unfortunately, these things aren’t uncommon,” Cook said. “We’ve had four in the last several years that were similar. I don’t think their intention is anything but to be rebellious. It pops up every little while.”
Cook said they’re hoping cameras in the area may have captured the car fleeing the building.