SALT LAKE CITY -- Police believe a moving truck was intentionally set on fire Wednesday morning in an industrial area of Salt Lake City, and officials said the moving truck as well as a personal vehicle were stolen earlier in the week from a woman who was moving across the country.
Firefighters responded to the area of 656 South Fulton Street Wednesday, where they found a truck burning in a scrap yard. Inside the truck there were household items and furniture. All of those items were destroyed.
“It’s completed devastated," said John Wall, who is a friend of Beth Fisher, the woman who owned the items in the truck. "They lit it on fire and it's just destroyed. Everything she owns, her whole life in the back of a truck, destroyed.
Initially, crews were concerned that there might be something dangerous inside so they called for a hazardous material crew.
“Our original information was that it was a possible rolling meth lab, so we had to draw back and make sure the scene was secure so that we could safely enter and fight the fire,” Capt. Marc Morger, Salt Lake City Fire Department, said. “Once it was determined that it wasn’t a rolling meth lab we were able to make an aggressive interior attack and search for victims, find none, and put the fire out.”
Officials said that whomever drove the truck to the area was gone by the time firefighters arrived. The truck was reported to be stolen out of the Draper area and was taken either late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. Crews are still working to determine what caused the fire.
Fisher, a pilot with the University of Utah's AirMed service who is also an active Marine, was moving cross-country for a new job, and she stayed at a hotel in Draper earlier this week. Both the moving van with her belongings and her car were stolen.
Her coworkers at AirMed have put together a fundraising effort to help their colleague. Click here for more information or to contribute.
Wall said: "Everything that has meaning to her has been taken, and it's just sad to think that somebody whose helped save countless lives with us over the years could have something so tragic happen to her."
A business owner saw the truck burning Wednesday morning and called police.
“The smoke started getting more intense out of each corner, and then it started coming out of the top,” said Cody Zenger, the owner of Business Way Solution.
Police are still looking for the victim's personal vehicle, a 2005 black Subaru Legacy Outback. Draper police are asking anyone with information to call them at 801-840-4000.