Layton man charged with felony arson after apartment fire

Photo: Layton City Fire Department

LAYTON, Utah, Aug. 23, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A 41-year-old Layton man has been booked into the Davis County jail after an apartment building burned on Aug. 18, Thursday of last week.

Firefighters were called to the building, at Overlook at Sunset Pointe, 2955 N. Hill Field Road, at 8:34 a.m., and found one apartment was fully involved, a Layton City Fire statement says.

“All occupants were evacuated. Crews were able to contain the fire to one apartment however other adjacent apartments received damage.”

Gale’s probable cause statement, filed by an officer of the Layton City Police Department, says the apartment that burned was rented to Gale.

“Officers also spoke with a complex maintenance worker that reported he went into Gale’s apartment to try and extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher after Gale told him that his couch was on fire. Gale was transported to Davis Hospital for minor burns and other injuries.

“Layton Fire was able to extinguish the fire but the fire has displaced 14 other apartments that are part of the 16-apartment complex building. Currently, all of the displaced tenants are being placed in temporary living conditions while Layton Fire Investigators are currently investigating the fire and the extent of the damage.”

Photo Layton City Fire Department

Gale was interviewed at the hospital, and told investigators that he’s a client at Davis Behavioral Health Services, and that he suffers from several mental health issues.

Gale stated he didn’t know how the couch caught on fire and stated it ‘combusted.’ Gale told investigators that he attempted to put out the fire but was unsuccessful…. Gale confirmed with investigators that he was the only occupant inside the apartment at the time of the fire.

“Gale also told investigators ‘I don’t like that sofa,’ and when asked why he didn’t like it he stated he always hallucinates when he sits on the couch,” the arrest affidavit says. “Gale stated the last hallucination occurred approximately two weeks ago while he was sitting on the couch.'”

Gale also admitted to being a meth user, and said he last used it late the night before.

“Your affiant believes there is probable cause that Gale intentionally started the fire by lighting his couch on fire during a drug induced state where he was likely hallucinating or experiencing a schizophrenic episode.”

The statement said damage caused by the fire is estimated at $100,000.

Gale was arrested on suspicion of arson —  property of another damages exceed $5,0000 in value, a second-degree felony. He was ordered held without bail in the Davis County jail.

Photo Layton City Fire Department


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