$5,000 reward offered in Provo arson investigation

Posted at 4:44 PM, Apr 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-23 22:25:37-04

PROVO, Utah – The mayor of Provo joined fire and police department officials Wednesday to ask the public for help locating suspects believed to be responsible for a series of human-caused fires in Provo.

Officials say four fires set in the last few days are believed to be the work of the suspect, as well as other blazes that have started in the last month, and they are offering a reward of $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

In a press conference Wednesday, officials announced the formation of a task force with the sole goal of finding those responsible, and they also announced an increase in patrols. City officials are also compiling a list of potential targets—as the fires have so far largely been set at vacant buildings or abandoned vehicles in the early morning hours.

Lynn Schofield, Provo Fire Marshal, said their main concern is that the crimes will escalate to the point where injuries are caused.

Robert McCloy with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said people who start these fires need to recognize the danger they create.

"People think it's an abandoned building and nobody will get hurt, but what people fail to think about is the fire fighters have to show up," he said. "And there are a lot of fire fighters out on the line trying to put these buildings out because someone decided they want to burn a building."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call police at 801-852-7400.

"Neighbors know their neighborhood, so if there is something amiss anywhere in the city we need to call that suspicious activity to 911; With that information we are going to make the link," said Chief John King of the Provo Police Department.