A West Valley City apartment building was destroyed in a fire Saturday night, and on Sunday, the West Valley City Police Department arrested a man they say started it. He has been booked into the Salt Lake County jail for investigation of attempted homicide, aggravated arson, criminal trespass and causing a catastrophe.
The fire broke out about 8:30 p.m. at the Overlook Point Apartments, near 4600 South and 2900 West.
According to police, the 21-year-old suspect who had been romantically involved with a woman who lived in the building; she told him on Saturday that she was ending the relationship. A witness told investigators that a man and woman were arguing just before the fire started, and that the man threw something through the apartment window. That action was “immediately followed by flames,” according to West Valley City Fire Department.
According to a probable cause statement, investigators found video surveillance of the suspect purchasing gasoline and a lighter a short distance away from the apartments shortly before the fire.
The West Valley Fire Department estimates the damage to be $250,000. According to a probable cause statement, four apartment units in the building were total losses, and two more were evacuated and suffered smoke and water damage. Eight families were dislocated by the fire.
According to police, building residents had to jump out of their second story windows to escape the the flames. No one was injured.
The Red Cross is helping residents find a place to stay.