Four fires near downtown Salt Lake City prompts an arson investigation

Apr 23, 2024, 7:58 PM | Updated: 8:48 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Fire investigators are looking for someone suspected of starting several fires in the downtown area early Tuesday morning.

The four incidents happened near downtown Salt Lake City, along 100 South, between 500 and 700 East. One of the fires was Winnie Quilter’s dad’s 1982 BMW 320I.

“He always said next to me, this is his pride and joy,” Quilter said. “It was just sentimental; I was going to restore it one day.”

But her dad’s dream went up in flames around 3 a.m.

“Somebody torched the car,” Quilter said. “It was kind of nuts because if you look at the inside of it, it looks like it exploded, but the cars next to it weren’t damaged.”

The inside of Quilter's dad's destroyed BMW.

The interior of Quilter’s dad’s destroyed BMW. (KSL TV)

The car was parked in the lot next to her dad’s condo on 600 East. It is a total loss, but other fires damaged more things.

“A couple of other fences and dumpsters got burned, but nothing bigger than this,” Quilter said.

The Salt Lake City Fire Department is investigating four fires, including two dumpster fires on 544 East and 700 East and a fence fire behind a church near 630 East. Fire officials said they received calls about the fires within a 30-minute window. The sequential order of events remains under investigation.

“This could always be a lot worse,” Capt. Brandt Hancuff, spokesperson for the Salt Lake City Fire Department, said. “With a fence fire, you can see where that can climb up a pole or spread along the fence to structures next to it. That’s where our rapid response was crucial.”

But everyone is grateful no one was injured.

“It is a bummer, but you know, it’s just things,” Quilter said.

Firefighters are asking anyone with information or ring footage to call 801-799-FIRE and ask for the Fire Prevention Bureau.

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Four fires near downtown Salt Lake City prompts an arson investigation