ATF investigating mysterious burning object that caused fire at West Valley City business

Posted at 6:22 PM, Oct 30, 2015

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives know how and where a fire started at a West Valley City business. However, they’re baffled about a mysterious burning object that sparked the fire, and they’re now offering a $10,000 reward in the case.

ATF investigators wrapped up their investigation onsite at Nemko, located at 1940 W. Alexander Street, but they’re zeroing in on a crucial piece of evidence.

ATF agents rolled into West Valley City Tuesday and got right to work. They sifted through debris and gathered clues to determine how a fire started at Nemko Sunday morning before 2:30.

The fire destroyed the international company, which tests electronics. Damages are now estimated at $3 million–that’s down from the original estimate of $11 million.

On Tuesday, investigators told FOX 13 they aren’t ruling anything out, including arson.

“It could go from nothing to something,” said Steve Cordle, ATF National Response Team Leader, Central Region.

By the end of the week, a crucial clue popped up: surveillance video from a nearby business.

“We've determined that some sort of burning object came out and hit the top of the roof and started this fire,” Cordle said.

A mysterious burning object landed on the roof on the west side around 9:30 Saturday evening and ignited 5 hours later. Investigators don’t believe it’s a drone.

“It doesn’t float like a drone. A drone moves a little faster than this does,” Cordle said.

Investigators are looking into other theories.

“Some possibilities have been brought up: Chinese lanterns, flares, those kinds of things,” Cordle said. “Those things do float down in that kind of trajectory, we’re looking into it and so it’s a possibility.”

Until they solve this mystery, the ATF and West Valley City Fire Department are offering a $10,000 reward for information that can lead to an arrest in this case. They’ve talked to area businesses, but most were closed when the fire broke out.

“We just need to find someone who knows what was going on with that,” Cordle said.

If you know anything about this case call 1-888-283-3473.