Early morning fire at Cottonwood Heights church being investigated as arson

Unified Fire Authority and Murray Fire Department crews responded to a fire at an LDS church building in Cottonwood Heights early Sunday morning, July 14, 2019. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah, July 15, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Unified Fire Authority  officials are now saying an early Sunday morning fire at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building is being investigated as arson.

Keith Garner, public information officer for UFA, told Gephardt Daily a neighbor called 911 at about 2:42 a.m. and said they thought the church, at 3680 E. Brighton Point Drive, in Cottonwood Heights, was on fire.

“So a crew was dispatched to come in, and they arrived about 2:51 a.m. and saw flames from the roof of the building,” Garner said. Additional units were called at that point, with Murray Fire Department coming to assist.

Garner said when firefighters went inside, “the church was completely gone … kind of the foyer area and chapel area.” He said on the scene that the inside of the church would likely have to be reconstructed.

He said it took about 45 minutes to get the fire knocked down so that it was completely out, and even then fire crews stayed on scene, checking for hot spots and making sure the fire hadn’t extended into other parts of the building.

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On Monday afternoon, Unified Fire Authority took the step of issuing a news release to say it is seeking the public’s help in identifying any information “that could help with an arson investigation related to the fire at the LDS Church building 3680 E. Brighton Point Dr., Cottonwood Heights, Utah at approximately 3 a.m. on July 14, 2019.”

The news release continued: “People with information about the fire and/or the possible identity of the persons or person involved that might help are urged to contact Cottonwood Heights Police Department at 801-840-4000, or Unified Fire Authority Investigations at 801-743-7100.”

There were no injuries as a result of this fire.

The cause of the fire had yet to be determined at that time, although Garner said, “most of the time, with something like this we turn toward human-caused. If anyone saw anything suspicious, give the police a call.”


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