Summit County man allegedly took photos of himself setting fire in vacant home

Thomas Fox Shea. Photo Courtesy: Summit County Jail

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah, Feb. 17, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Summit County man allegedly took photos of himself setting a fire in a vacant home.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Summit County said Thomas Fox Shea, 48, is facing charges of arson, a second-degree felony, and criminal trespass, a class B misdemeanor.

On Feb. 14, the Summit County dispatch center received a report of a structure fire in Woodland, the statement said. The complainant reported that when he arrived at the scene, he saw a man and a blue Subaru. The man at the scene was later identified as Shea.

Shea had sustained burns to his face and hands and was transported by ambulance to Park City Medical Center due to his injuries. A registration check was conducted on the Subaru and it showed the registered owner of the vehicle was the suspect.

“Once Shea was released from the hospital, he returned back to the scene of the fire to retrieve the Subaru,” the statement said. “Shea was stopped by a detective and he was asked about his involvement during the incident. Shea initially denied any involvement regarding the fire. He stated he stopped at the residence after he saw smoke come from the home.”

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Shea later asked to speak with detectives about the fire. After being read his Miranda rights, he allegedly stated he started the fire.

“Shea said he knew the residence was vacant and he went there to take pictures,” the statement said. “Shea stated he brought a five gallon container of gasoline, a fire extinguisher and camera equipment inside the residence. He stated he mounted his cell phone on a tripod to video him lighting the fires.”

Shea said he lit two fires in the residence and put the fires out with the fire extinguisher. He added he lit a third fire in the residence and the fire got out of control. He said he was burned while attempting to put out the third fire, the statement said, and he exited the residence after he could not put out the fire.

The estimated damages to the residence exceed $5,000, making that charge a second-degree felony.

Shea was transported to Summit County Jail with his bail set at $10,680.

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