LDS church damaged in fire, 3 juveniles confess

Posted at 7:34 AM, May 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-13 20:39:29-04

MAGNA, Utah -- Unified Fire Authority and West Valley City fire crews extinguished a fire at a church in Magna Monday morning.

The fire started at 7525 W Washington Road in the chapel of a ward house owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Unified Fire Authority Capt. Clint Mecham said the cause of the fire was initially unknown, but three juveniles later confessed to setting hymnals in the chapel on fire.

The juveniles, all male, confessed while being questioned by arson investigators, federal agents and police. Mecham said the boys did not give a reason for starting the fire. They have been arrested and referred to juvenile detention.

Mecham said investigators determined the boys broke into the church late Sunday night and set fire to the hymn books, which smoldered for hours before catching benches and other items in the chapel on fire.

The damages have been estimated at $500,000. No injuries were reported.

Mecham said the fire was extinguished within 20 minutes of the 911 call.