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Apartment fire in Davis County displaces multiple families; Suspect arrested

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Posted at 9:23 PM, Jan 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-09 23:38:52-05

CLEARFIELD, Utah — Multiple families were displaced from their homes after an apartment building caught fire Sunday in Clearfield.

The fire broke out around 11 a.m. at an apartment complex near 1700 South and 200 East.

When emergency crews arrived, the fire was burning in one apartment and starting to spread into an adjacent unit.

North Davis Fire District Chief Mark Becraft said the two-alarm blaze heavily damaged two apartments, but firefighters managed to save two others. The damage is estimated at $500,000.

Officials said up to five families are displaced. The property owners and American Red Cross are helping to find places for them to stay.

No one was injured, including firefighters and residents.

“I thought I was going to lose everything,” said Angela Shumway. “I just feel so sorry for those that did.”

Shumway lives in the building but on the opposite end. She’s thankful she only has smoke damage.

“I’m just glad my kids weren’t here,” she said. “And that people got out. Nobody was hurt.”

Still, her future is uncertain. Her landlord told her they’re not sure if her family will be able to move back in.

“Now I’m figuring out what I did lose in there and what can be replaced and what can’t,” she said. “And just start over.”

Later that day, police arrested 23-year-old Cameron Ernie Grover on suspicion of causing the fire. He told police he was sleeping in a shed on the back porch of one of the units and had burned cardboard to stay warm. He said he put blankets on top of the cardboard and that they were smoldering, but he didn't see any flames. He said he thought he put out the fire before he left the shed, but while he was at another apartment making a phone call, someone pounded on the door yelling that the shed was on fire. He and others tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher, but it got out of control.

He was arrested on potential charges of criminal mischief, burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia.