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Woman arrested in connection with fire at abandoned SLC house

Posted at 6:22 AM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 12:16:15-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A woman has been booked into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail in connection with a fire at an abandoned Salt Lake City house early Wednesday morning.

Sasha Valdez, 33, faces a charge of aggravated arson after she was accused of starting a fire at a house near 400 S and 200 W.

Firefighters responded to the house around 3 a.m. and found heavy smoke and flames coming out of the windows.

The fire forced the closure of 200 W near 450 S as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze.

Capt. Jeff Kauffmann of the Salt Lake City Fire Department said fires at abandoned structures has been a recurring problem in the city.

The problem could worsen as outside temperatures drop in the autumn and winter seasons and homeless people seek shelter.

The Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness hopes to finish plans for a temporary homeless shelter in the county by November 1.