Apartment fires happen. It’s a fact of life. That’s why you have Utah renters insurance. But too many renters insurance fire losses are already caused by negligence or deferred maintenance. We are concerned to note that the Orem, UT arsonist is still on the loose, and very little is known about the person or persons responsible.
City officials advised this week that a $12,500 reward is available for the person responsible for stopping the Orem, UT arsonist. The reward is made up of money from the city and from local housing developers, who also have a vested interest in stopping these fires.
In February, an apartment building under construction was burned to the ground by the Orem arsonist. Shortly before the building was set aflame, a police car in the immediate vicinity was set on fire as well. The person or persons responsible seem to have a penchant for setting smaller fires to distract resources from the larger ones.
In December, an apartment building well on its way to completion was set on fire shortly after a fire was set at a nearby gas station, again ostensibly to distract resources from the actual fire. Total damages are estimated at over two million dollars.
More than one person may be involved, based on the pattern of smaller fires and larger fires being set at nearly the same time. Given that apartment buildings in final phases of construction seem to be the real targets, it’s possible that the Orem, UT arsonist is motivated by environmental or land use concerns. Arson is a frequent tactic of those who don’t want to see additional construction in an area.
While there are groups known to engage in these sorts of activities to “protect the environment,” it is not believed at this time that the Orem arsonist has ties to those groups, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
Even though the fires target unoccupied buildings, lives of neighbors and firefighters are still being put at risk. This is not just a matter of property damage, there is potential for significant loss of life by the Orem arsonist. As an insurance company dedicated to the safety of renters, the very renters who would be occupying these buildings, we’re deeply concerned. It is our sincere hope that by making news of the reward available, someone will step forward.
If you have information on the Orem, UT arsonist, you should call (801)229-7321.