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Salt Lake City officials seek transients to determine fire's cause

Published October 21, 2013 8:45 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Salt Lake City fire investigators have been stymied in determining the cause of a weekend apartment complex blaze because they cannot find transients believed to have camped out in a shed where the fire began.

Salt Lake City Fire Department spokesman Jasen Asay said Monday that efforts to identify and find an unspecified number of suspected transients had so far been unsuccessful.

"Our investigator determined it was human-caused and we have reports of transients having been in the shed, but unless we can find the people who were in the shed we won't be able to determine if it was accidental or intentional," Asay said.

The fire started just before 3 a.m. Sunday in the shed, which was behind the two-story apartment complex near 1400 South and 200 East. The fire quickly spread to a second-story apartment, causing heavy damage.

Firefighters doused the blaze before it reached other apartments, though five units still sustained water and smoke damage.

SLCFD estimated the blazed caused more than $50,000 in losses.

The Red Cross was helping five displaced residents with temporary shelter and meals.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims