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Man arrested for arson after SLC hotel fire

Posted at 7:14 AM, Dec 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-27 16:42:45-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A West Haven man was arrested Friday after a fire at a Salt Lake City hotel.

911 dispatchers received multiple reports of smoke coming from a room on the first floor in the west wing of the Little America hotel, 550 S Main St., around 2:49 a.m. Friday.

According to a press release from the Salt Lake City Fire Department, firefighters arrived at 2:57 and saw smoke filling the first floor. Hotel guests had already begun to evacuate the west wing when firefighters arrived.

Mug shot: Francisco Castillo

Mug shot: Francisco Castillo

"Because there was a lot of smoke and the potential to feel nauseated from that we moved most people - we evacuated over 100 people it seemed - moved them to the lobby of the Little America. I believe they took a lot of those and put them in the Grand America," said Salt Lake City Fire Battalion Chief Tom Robertson.

Firefighters made an "aggressive interior attack," the press release said, and contained the fire within ten minutes.

Fire officials say a mattress inside the room caught fire, and they're calling it suspicious.

A press release from the Salt Lake City Fire Department says 19-year-old Francisco Castillo was booked into jail on first degree felony arson. The release says fire investigators tracked Castillo through the day, and he was arrested by Weber County Sheriff's deputies at his home in West Haven.

Fire officials say Castillo smoked marijuana on Thursday evening and decided to light his room on fire. He had charged the room where the fire originated under his name and said he was alone in the room.

The fire was contained to the room where it originated, and one person was treated for smoke inhalation.