LOCAL NEWS

Teen arrested in connection to two fires at Provo apartment complex

Dec 28, 2022, 4:54 PM | Updated: 7:03 pm

PROVO, Utah — A 19-year-old woman has been arrested in connection to recent arsons in Provo City.

Calliope Mlynar has been booked into jail for suspicion of two counts of aggravated arson in connection with two fires at the Centennial Apartments in Provo, where she lives.

Police are now looking at whether she can be linked to as many as 10 recent arson-started fires all in the same area.

The two fires at the Centennial Apartments burned in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving and Christmas in the recreation room. In both cases, there was also a nearby fire at almost the same time in the surrounding neighborhood.

Based off of key card activity at the apartment complex, police served a search warrant Tuesday and made the arrest. Provo’s fire marshal said this is still an active investigation, dealing with not just these fires.

“Quite frankly, these have been very dangerous fires,” Provo Fire Marshal and Battalion Chief Lynn Schofield said. “The two apartments for which the charges have been filed occurred in a recreation room in an occupied apartment building while people were asleep.”

Provo fire marshal to review all fires since February

Detectives wrote in the jail booking documents that: “There are currently 10 open arson investigations of occupied buildings that have occurred between Aug. 5, 2022 and today. These fires all occur within a five block radius of the Centennial Apartments.”

One of those includes a blaze that occurred right before Christmas. A family of five had to escape the flames in the middle of the night. The home is likely a total loss.

Five homes damaged in four fires across Wasatch Front

The Provo Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the FBI are assisting in the investigation.

“We are going to follow the evidence and go where the evidence takes us,” Schofield said.

Witness recounts fire at Centennial Apartments

In early December, Kira Myers had to be evacuated from another suspicious fire at Centennial Apartments.

“It was in the stairway behind us,” Myers said. “The police officers came into our apartment and came and evacuated us in the middle of the night.”

The doormat, door and doorframe of a neighboring apartment was on fire. The four people inside got out. One suffered a burned hand.

“The door just was completely black,” Myers said.

That fire is still under investigation, but Myers is relieved to hear about the arrest for the other two fires at her complex.

“Pretty crazy,” she said. “I didn’t think it would be anyone from around here.”

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