Neighbors, family recovering from attack and arson in Centerville home

Jul 22, 2022, 8:22 PM

CENTERVILLE, Utah — Investigators are searching for answers after they said a man randomly burst into a Centerville home, attacked the homeowners and set the home on fire.

A family member of the elderly couple that lives at the home told KSL on Friday that one of them is out of the hospital; the other is still recovering from a head injury and brain bleed.

Police said everything points to a random attack that is leaving neighbors concerned and confused about what happened.

Centerville house goes up in flames after home invasion

“I wasn’t actually here when any of this transpired,” said Randi Stephens. “Thank goodness.”

“I’m actually amazed by the fact that the firefighters were able to respond so quickly,” said Mark Stephens.

Mark and Randi Stephens’ home was close to the flames Thursday. You can see it in their melted siding and singed trees.

“You see such a short distance between the two houses, and you look at absolute devastation there and then how blessed we are,” Randi said.

They were just getting ready to move back into their home after a burst pipe flooded their home nearly a year go.

“This is just stuff,” Mark said. “These are material things that can be replaced.”

But this is not their first disaster.

“We’ve checked a few boxes over the years,” Mark said. “Our house was hit by a tornado about 10 years ago in North Carolina, flood in Louisiana, pipe burst in our house, and then now, fire.”

Still, they are grateful they are alive and that their neighbors are now safe after an unimaginable confrontation.

Police say the 37-year-old suspect hit the elderly couple, demanding money, and poured gasoline on the home, and one of them, before lighting it on fire.

“When it hits home in your neighborhood, and especially under the circumstances with a home invasion and assault and arson fire, I, it just lets you know that no one’s safe in this world,” Mark said.

But through all that’s happened over the past 24 hours, Randi said they’ll be fine.

“In the end, we’re all alive and well and it’s going to be OK,” she said.

Police believed the 37-year-old attacker has both mental health and drug issues.

As you may remember, they said he had to be tasered to be removed from the burning home.

He’s expected to face charges after recovering in the hospital.

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Neighbors, family recovering from attack and arson in Centerville home