Recent swath of fires along Wasatch Front not connected, investigators say

Fire officials recommend fire safety as the weather gets even warmer.

(Photo courtesy of the Salt Lake City Fire Department) A five-alarm fire broke out at the Incline Terrace apartments early Monday morning.

The cause of a June 16 fire at an apartment under construction in Millcreek remains under investigation, but investigators said there is no link between that blaze and other recent fires along the Wasatch Front.

At least two other building fires in Murray and Salt Lake were caused by arson last week, but fire officials aren’t investigating any connections between the blazes.

“[Structure fires] kind of come and go in waves in the fire service, we’ve noticed,” said Dan Walker, Salt Lake City Fire public information officer. “Our friends in Murray and Ogden and out in the county have experienced similar things. So just because we’ve all had fires... For all the information we have so far, they have not been connected to each other.”

Many of the fires over the past two weeks are still under investigation, although others have been identified as not intentionally caused — meaning they are accidental in nature.

“But for all intents and purposes, we don’t believe that there’s some one person going around and doing all of this,” Walker said.

People shouldn’t be worried about a serial arsonist, but should take precautions to limit the risk of accidental fires, officials said.

“Everything is really warm, really hot, and really dry, so we need to be really cautious with the things that we do,” Walker said. “Don’t park your vehicle on dry grass, if you smoke or if you use open flames to make sure that the trash that’s leftover from that or your matches or the cigarette butts are put away properly and safely. Make sure that you keep things around your yard and stuff orderly and clean, so that reduces the risk of fire extending into the home.”

United Fire public information officer Ryan Love said many apartment complexes are more at risk for fires “just due to the nature of sharing a common wall” with multiple residents.

“Most of the fires that we see in apartment complexes are caused from cooking, either interior or exterior,” Love said. “So barbecues on the exterior, [make] sure that you’re cleaning your barbecues, maintaining visuals on your barbecue, whatever you’re cooking, so don’t leave it unattended. And also inside the kitchen as well, so not leaving anything on the stove.”

“Things like this are a variable that we have control of,” Walker said. “We should take control and be very cautious with those.”