Provo fire marshal to review all fires since February

Dec 22, 2022, 7:16 PM | Updated: 7:56 pm

PROVO, Utah — After noticing trends with recent fires, Provo’s fire marshal is now reviewing all fires that have broken out in the city since February to see if there are commonalities.

“We’ve started to identify some trends more recently,” Provo Fire Marshal and Battalion Chief Lynn Schofield said.

Schofield said in order to protect the integrity of the investigation he can’t disclose which trends his team noticed.

“There are things in some of the fires that we have concerns with,” he added.

Schofield confirmed an ongoing investigation involving multiple fires and said that they can’t rule out arson.

By alerting the public of the investigation, Schofield said there are additional concerns if there is an arsonist out there.

“We don’t want this person to escalate or get more brazen or more frequent or do more dangerous fires,” Schofield said. “The other problem is sometimes they’ll just go dark.”

In all, Schofield said they are analyzing the details of between 30 and 40 fires that have occurred in Provo. The most recent broke out just before 3 a.m. Tuesday at a home at 776 East and 200 North.

“I just looked outside and it felt like the whole street was on fire,” said Sarah Taylor, who lives across the street.

A family of five was able to safely escape but their home is likely a total loss.

“Terrible for the family who lost their home a couple days before Christmas,” Taylor said.

Taylor said neighbors are being extra vigilant after Tuesday’s fire and two others that happened in the area recently.

“I think just a lot of uncertainty about what’s going on and what can be done about it and obviously concern for the families that are affected,” she said.

Schofield urged residents to keep their outdoor lights on at night and to immediately report anything unusual to police. He also asked for homeowners to review doorbell camera footage.

“If you know something, say something,” he said.

He also asked for patience, saying that these types of investigations are time-consuming.

“Part of the challenge of arson is arson is a very, very difficult thing,” Schofield said.

Anyone with information or video that could help with the investigation can pass it along to the non-emergency dispatch center at 801-852-6210 or by sending an email.

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Provo fire marshal to review all fires since February