On February 5th, a massive fire burned an apartment complex under construction near 400 S State Street, ignited shortly after a smaller fire burned a Provo police car nearby. Catching a serial arsonist is now a top priority for Orem officials, who announced Thursday, they are offering a $12,500 reward for information leading to an arrest. "It would be a huge financial impact to us if this were to continue to happen. We want to stop this as soon as possible," said Orem Mayor, Richard Brunst. Police are on high alert for the coming months.
On December 19, a small fire was started at a gas station pump, just minutes before a much larger fire was reported in the area of 875 N. State. Firefighters found the apartment complex up in flames. Damage from both incidents totaled over 2 million dollars, wowie. This means that these perpetrators need to be stopped before Orem has to pay more for the price of fixing these damages.
What is drawn from this is that a smaller distraction fire is lit as a distraction and a larger fire at a vacant building is then set. For these reasons, it is assumed that it’s the same group of people responsible for each incident. "I believe it is the work of one or one group of individuals and they're trying to make a statement. What exactly that statement is, I'm not sure," Brunst said. "We want to arrest [them] and stop this behavior as quickly as possible."
Who would cause this destruction? Are these criminals from the innocent city of Orem? Are they trying to send a message? If so, what? These crimes have caused a lot of trouble for everyone involved. The Orem City Council have approved reward of $12,500. $5,000 from the reserve funds and $7,500 from local contractors who are anxious to catch the person responsible. Anyone with information on the arsonist can call 801-229-7321.