LOCAL NEWS

Police Arrest Man In Connection With West Valley City Apartment Fire

Feb 2, 2020, 2:45 PM | Updated: 9:39 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Officials with the West Valley City Police Department have arrested a man in connection with a 2-alarm fire that broke out at the Overlook Point Apartments.

Police said Luis Bueso-Romero was located near the South Salt Lake City homeless resource center on Sunday and was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on charges of attempted homicide and arson.

Crews with the West Valley City Fire Department responded to the fire near 4600 South and 2930 West Saturday night. Witnesses told investigators they saw a man throw an object, possibly a Molotov cocktail, through an apartment window after arguing with a woman.

“At the end of this dispute, sounds like the male suspect came back with a Molotov cocktail, some type of flammable contraption, threw it in the unit and that’s what started the fire,” said West Valley City Fire Deputy Chief Chris Beichner.

Edward Smith shared a video of the fire with KSL TV. He was one of several people who ran to help neighbors escape the flames from the eight-unit apartment building.

“I called 911 immediately,” Smith said. “I ran back down to see if I could bust down a door or window to see if I can help out. I’m pretty sure everyone got out.”

The fire broke out after neighbors heard an explosion on the second floor of the building.

“I spoke to the lady who lives in the apartment. She said someone threw something at her door and she said that’s how the fire started,” Smith said.

“We just heard like a ruckus,” said Ethan Gillespie, who was visiting his girlfriend in a neighboring building. “As we went outside, there’s this man running around (and) he threw something. The cops even told us like a glass bottle bomb because we didn’t know what it was.”

Fire officials estimated the damage at $250,000 and said five of the eight units in the building will be habitable. The other three units were undergoing safety inspections.

“The units that were exposed to the fire were a total loss and (suffered) significant water damage from the heavy of the ladder trucks flowing,” Beichner said.

Firefighters originally said the building was destroyed and would not be habitable on Saturday. They said the cause of the fire was arson but were still investigating what materials were used.

Officials with the Utah Regional Red Cross said they helped seven adults and four children Sunday night, but those numbers could grow in the next 48 hours. No major injuries were reported and three people were treated for smoke inhalation.

“We’re getting her stuff and her cats and taking her back to my apartment because we are not trying to be here while this man is running around throwing bombs in people’s buildings,” Gillespie said.

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Police Arrest Man In Connection With West Valley City Apartment Fire