West Valley City fire that destroyed 10 cars called arson
Published: December 12, 2012 10:46AM
Updated: April 8, 2013 11:32PM
Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune West Valley City Fire Department investigators sift through debris of 10 cars that burned in a carport at apartment complex at 3685 S. 2200 West on Dec. 11. The fire started about 12:30 a.m.

Investigators have ruled as arson a blaze which gutted 10 vehicles and destroyed a carport and attached storage units at a West Valley City apartment complex.

“We’re very confident that this was arson, that one of the cars was set on fire intentionally,” West Valley Fire Department spokesman Bob Fitzgerald said Wednesday, noting that traces of flammable liquid found at the scene indicated one car was first targeted.

Along with West Valley City police, fire investigators continued to seek a suspect seen driving in the area shortly before one car exploded into flames, igniting adjacent vehicles just after midnight Tuesday at 3685 S. 2200 West.

Hindering the investigation, however, are differing descriptions of the suspect vehicle, Fitzgerald said. “We’re continuing efforts to nail that down,” he said.

Investigators also were trying to determine if the car targeted initially was the vehicle the arsonist meant to burn, since the car parked in that spot normally would not have been there.

Residents of two apartment buildings nearest to the flames were initially evacuated, but were allowed to return within an hour.

Damage from the fire was estimated between $150,000 and $200,000.