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27-year-old man arrested for arson in connection with Murray apartment fire

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Posted at 8:45 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 22:45:50-04

MURRAY, Utah — A man was arrested Thursday for allegedly intentionally setting fire to a Murray apartment complex.

The fire, which started at around 2:30 Thursday morning at the Stillwater Apartment Complex, left 50 residents displaced from 24 different units and caused severe damage to the building.

Read - 50 people displaced following Murray apartment fire

27-year-old Forrest Wilkinson was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated arson, a first degree felony.

According to arrest documents, a male witness saw Wilkinson on the third story balcony of an apartment. Wilkinson told the man "there's about to be a fire," and laughed at the man then ran down the stairs yelling "fire."

Later, when police made contact with Wilkinson, he began uttering that "he had to tell the truth and that he was being followed by police so he had to light his apartment on fire because he did not know what else to do," according to arrest documents.

Read - Fire officials concerned over spike in structure fires across Wasatch Front

Wilkinson told police he sprayed lighter fluid around his apartment unit and lit it on fire with a piece of paper.

A K-9 was used to search for evidence and indicated that lighter fluid was present on the shoes that Wilkinson was wearing.

Wilkinson is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County jail.