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Arson, possible mistaken identity suspected in carport fire

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 12 2012 11:04 a.m. MST

WEST VALLEY CITY — Investigators believe a fire that destroyed a carport and nine vehicles may have been a case of arson, but also a possible case of mistaken identity.

Early Tuesday, fire consumed a carport and nine vehicles at the Westglen Village Condominiums, 2200 W. 3688 South. Total damage was estimated at $120,000.

"The cause of the fire appears to be deliberately set," West Valley Fire Marshal Bob Fitzgerald said.

Investigators believe a single vehicle was originally targeted and not the entire carport. Fitzgerald said investigators found evidence of a flammable liquid poured at different places around one of the vehicles.

But the vehicle believed to be the origin of the fire was parked in the wrong stall. The owner of the vehicle lives at the complex, but apparently parked his vehicle in a reserved stall that wasn't his, Fitzgerald said. Investigators were looking Wednesday at the possibility of the car being targeted in a case of mistaken identity.

The tenant who is supposed to park his car in that stall was not considered a suspect, he said. A possible motive for the fire was not known Wednesday.

There were several reports of a white vehicle leaving the area just before the fire started. However, Fitzgerald said there were differing accounts about whether the vehicle was an SUV, truck or van.

Anyone with information on the fire can call police at 801-840-4000.

Pat Reavy Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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