Investigators seek public's help in Deer Creek fire case

By Katie McKellar

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, July 23 2013 1:40 p.m. MDT

Investigators are struggling to shed light on who or what started the fire that destroyed the headquarters building at Deer Creek State Park last month.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

MIDWAY — Investigators are struggling to shed light on who or what caused the fire that destroyed the headquarters building at Deer Creek State Park last month.

Due to lack of leads, the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to seek help from the public. The blaze ignited June 10.

“Right now we’re looking for help in identifying people who were in the area or around the building at that time,” Wasatch County sheriff’s detective Jim Brown said. “We’re asking for any more leads.”

Sheriff’s deputies and Utah State Parks officials have collaborated on the investigation, but it has taken no significant direction.

Investigators are not ruling out the incident as a case of arson, Brown said. Suspicious evidence, including vandalism to a nearby pay booth, led investigators to believe the fire was started on purpose.

“If this was human caused or arson, we need to find out who that person is so no other structures or buildings are in danger within the state,” said Utah State Parks Lt. Eric Stucki.

According to Stucki, the damage to the building and its contents was about $200,000.

While Deer Creek State Park visitors haven’t been greatly affected, the office destruction has taken a heavy toll on park employees, Stucki said.

“The park office building was a total loss, so we’ve had to bring in a temporary building for office staff, and we've had to try to rebuild personnel files and administrative function files,” he said. “It definitely adds a burden and a strain on park staff. All the day-to-day work that makes their jobs easier was lost, and so their work has definitely increased tri-fold.”

Both Stucki and Brown encourage the public to step forward with any information about the fire. Brown is accepting calls at 435-671-6130.

“We are just trying to get this closed as quick as we can,” Brown said.

Email: kmckellar@deseretnews.com

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