Salt Lake Man Left Homeless After Former Friend Lights Home On Fire
Jul 3, 2021, 11:28 PM | Updated: Jul 5, 2023, 12:35 pm
SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — A South Salt Lake man’s home was destroyed after police said a 27-year-old man filled a soda bottle with gas and then lit his friend’s home on fire.
Lucky Luke Nipper’s home went up in flames Friday afternoon.
“And I arrived the same time the officer did, and I ran down the road and told him (the house) was mine,” said Nipper.
By the time officers arrived, police said the house was fully engulfed.
Nipper said it was too late to salvage anything.
“They said it’s bad because of the water and the smut, smoke,” he said.
What’s even worse is the fire appears to be no accident.
“It’s mainly in the back where I think they started it,” Nipper said.
Arresting documents point to 27-year-old Jessie Ray Bartley.
Witnesses told police they saw him fill a soda bottle with gasoline before walking to Nipper’s house and setting it on fire.
According to arresting documents, Bartley confessed to climbing through a back window, pouring gasoline in the living room and then lighting it with a lighter.
“I almost wanted to cry, but I was a little strong about it with some support from everybody,” said Nipper.
Bartley is no stranger to Nipper.
“He was my friend for a minute, for a little while,” said Nipper.
But Nipper said the two recently had a falling out.
“I told him not to come back,” he said. “I don’t want him around here.”
Bartley was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, but Nipper was left without a home.
“I’m going to try and stay because I can’t go anywhere else,” said Nipper.
Unfortunately, Nipper told KSL-TV he’s facing some hard times — he’s unemployed and let his fire insurance lapse.
As for Bartley, he’s facing charges of aggravated arson and aggravated burglar.