COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah, March 27, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A security guard has been booked into jail on five felony charges in connection with a bomb threat and multiple arson cases at the Cottonwood Heights Business Complex, which she was hired and paid to protect.
Brittany Marie Burson, 22, faces five charges of aggravated arson, a first-degree felony, and one charge of threat of terrorism, a second-degree felony.
A statement by an officer of the Unified Fire Authority investigator says he was dispatched on March 2 to a bomb threat at 2825 E. Cottonwood Parkway. The scene was a four-building commercial business complex with space for tenants.
Burson, the buildings’ security guard told fire officials she received a call from a restricted number, and “the unidentified male had informed her there was a bomb in building 10 and instructed her to evacuate the building before abruptly ending the phone call,” Burson’s probable cause statement says.
“Public Safety Bomb Technician evaluated the situation and performed a sweep of several areas with an explosive detection canine before releasing the scene back to police and the property management staff,” the statement says.
On March 11, the same investigator was dispatched to the complex, building 8, for a fire in a women’s rest room.
“The onsite security officer, Brittany Burson, informed me that the fire was isolated to a garbage can within the bathroom and noticed by a tenant before she alerted security,” the statement stays.
Property management also told the officer they had found the remnants of a recent fire in building 10.
“Both fires appeared to be intentionally set causing damage to the building before self-extinguishing or being extinguished by property management staff,” Burson’s probable cause statement says.
Fire crews were dispatched again on March 17 for two fires set in building 9. Crews performed a building sweep of the whole complex, and “security officer Brittany Burson found an additional fire in the garbage can of the men’s bathroom on the fifth floor of the same building.”
Several other fires were found and handled by property management before a break in the case on March 23.
“Investigators received additional information which identified the originally restricted phone number that called in the bomb threat as the phone number belonging to the security officer, Brittany Burson. This phone number was the number that Brittany Burson had provided for her contact information on her written witness statement as well as found to be registered in her name.”
Burson was interviewed at the Cottonwood Heights Police Department on Friday, March 25.
“During my interview, Burson not only placed herself at the scene of each fire that occurred within the Cottonwood Business Complex but also described the fires in their incipient stages. Burson confessed to calling in the bomb threat to the security line on 03/02/2022, but would not admit to any further crimes before requesting an attorney.”
“The suspect has been placed at the scene of several fires that were found within the buildings of this complex, which threatened the lives of the occupants within the buildings. The suspect did not attempt to extinguish any of the fires but did alert staff to the presence.
“The suspect is a currently certified security officer through an agency which fulfills several contracts throughout the valley and surrounding areas, affording the suspect intimate knowledge of persons within those locations as well as the inner workings of such facilities.”
Burson was arrested after the interview. She is being held without bail.