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Fire at abandoned restaurant in West Jordan treated as attempted homicide

Posted at 9:37 AM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 02:14:16-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah — West Jordan Police are treating an early Tuesday morning fire as an attempted homicide.

Around 2:30 a.m., West Jordan firefighters responded to a fire at an abandoned restaurant in the area of 7750 South and 3200 West.

They quickly knocked down the fire, but a man told them he had hidden inside the restaurant for fear of his safety.

West Jordan Police took over that part of the investigation.

The man told police he was sleeping in a car behind the restaurant when another man started pounding on the car.

The man in the car recognized the other man as someone he had been fighting with, according to Lt. Rich Bell with West Jordan Police.

The man in the car told police he got out of the car and tried to calm the situation.

When that didn’t work, he told police he ran into the restaurant and barricaded himself inside to stay safe from the other man.

The man outside threatened to burn the man out, and a short time later, smoke began to billow inside of the restaurant.

The man in the restaurant was able to run and hide until firefighters arrived and by then, the man on the outside was gone.

Police said they were looking for that man, 54-year-old Jesus D. Hernandez. Around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, they announced he had been found and taken into custody.

No one was hurt and damage to the building was minimal.

Investigators with West Jordan Fire say it appears arson was the cause of the fire.