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Three teens arrested for torching LDS chapel in Magna

Published May 13, 2013 2:46 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Three teens were arrested Monday after Unified Fire Authority officials said they confessed to causing a fire at a Mormon church in Magna that morning.

Public safety dispatchers said the fire call came in at 7:12 a.m. Flames and smoke were reported coming from the chapel at the church at 7525 W. 3735 South.

UFA Capt. Clint Mecham said crews had doused the blaze by 7:35 a.m.

According to Mecham, investigators looking into the blaze received a tip about the juveniles. After making contact, the juveniles reportedly confessed to breaking into the building and lighting hymnals on fire. Mecham said he anticipates arson charges, though the district attorney ultimately will determine what, if any, criminal charges the teens face.

Mecham praised investigators for quickly getting to the bottom of the blaze.

"They did a heck of a job on this getting it all put together," he said.

There were no reports of injuries. Damages were estimated at $500,000.

Meacham said the worst of the damage was contained to the chapel area of the structure, with some smoke damage throughout the building. The glass from two windows and a door also were broken out to allow crews access. Fire crews also had to tear off "a great deal of sheet rock" while checking to make sure the fire was out, Mecham said.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims