A 14-year-old Taylorsville youth was in custody Monday morning after a Sunday fire destroyed several units of the Hunters Woods apartment complex at 4924 S. Fifth West.
Arson is suspected in seven separate fires around the apartment complex early Sunday morning, said Murray police Detective Bob Rigby. The most serious fire forced three residents to flee to the roof of the building where they were rescued by firefighters shortly before the blaze consumed a portion of the wood shingle roof near them.Firefighters were alerted at 3:21 a.m. Sunday. Neighbors living several blocks away said they could see a glow in the sky about the time they heard the fire engines racing toward the large complex, which is adjacent to the 49th Street Galleria.
Two Midvale trucks and a Salt Lake County rescue unit helped Murray firefighters control the blaze. Damage has been estimated at $200,000.
The American Red Cross helped find overnight accommodations for three displaced families, said Corry Tanner, director of disaster services.
"Altogether there were seven separate fire starts," Rigby said. Burning paper was used to set fire to a dumpster, streamers on childrens' bicycles and a broom hung on a door as a decoration. A fire was also started in the ash tray of a car.
Rigby said the youth, a runaway, was booked into the juvenile detention center Sunday. While the police investigation is ongoing, no other arrests are expected. "He indicated he lit all of the fires himself," Rigby said.