Iron County man arrested for arson after lighting family member’s home on fire

Douglas Jack Carter. Photo Courtesy: Iron County Sheriff's Office

IRON COUNTY, Utah, Nov. 6, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A 32-year-old man has been arrested for aggravated arson after he allegedly lit a family member’s home in Parowan on fire.

A probable cause statement issued by the 5th District Court in Iron County said Douglas Jack Carter is facing one charge of first-degree felony aggravated arson and two misdemeanor charges of arson — with damages between $500 and $1,500.

The probable cause statement said the suspect is known to start fires and has been convicted of related crimes in the last three years.

The fire started Nov. 1 “was in a habitable house with a total loss due to the fire,” the probable cause statement said.

“The suspect came on to the scene during the fire and was watching firefighters and asking questions,” the statement said. “The suspect lives two houses to the north and the house he lit on fire belongs to a family member.”

Officials tried to make contact with Carter by going to his house and knocking on the door. The statement said they could see movement in the home but he refused to answer the door.

A search warrant was then applied for and granted.

“Entry was made into the home and the suspect was located hiding in a shed on the property,” the statement said. “He admitted to knowing we were looking for him and said he was trying to hide from us.”

The suspect was then transported to the Parowan Police Department for an interview. He was advised of his Miranda rights and agreed to speak with investigators.

“In the interview, he confessed to lighting the fire that destroyed the home,” the statement said. “He was also a suspect in two other unknown fires in the past month. Two different fires were started around power poles and he was the suspect. In the interview, the suspect admitted to lighting one of the power pole fires and not the other.”

State Fire Marshal investigators were called in and were able to locate accelerants used to start the house fire. Given that information, investigators asked Carter how he started the fire.

“He told me he dumped gas down a wall and lit the fire with a wooden match,” the statement goes on. “In a search of the home and property based on obtaining the search warrant, we located the gas can he used, wooden matches and seized the clothes he was wearing.”

Based on Carter’s confession and the location of the items used to start the house fire, the suspect was arrested on the charges above. His bail has been set at $100,000 cash only.


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