Condominium fire confirmed as arson

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    By KIM HAGAN

    The fire that blazed through the southwest corner of the Country Woods condominiums, 1170 W. 1330 South, Orem, on Monday has been confirmed as arson by Orem Police.

    “There is strong and compelling evidence to suggest that this was a deliberately and intentionally set fire,” said Lt. Doug Edwards, of the Orem Police Department.

    Investigators on the case were able to pinpoint two separate sites of fire origin within the condominium.

    “At neither of these origins, one in the bedroom, the other in the living room, is there any explainable source of ignition that accidentally could have caused the fire,” Edwards said.

    It has been confirmed that the condominium’s door was forced open prior to the fire crew’s arrival, he said.

    The police do not believe the fire was started to conceal a burglary. The investigation revealed that key items, such as a purse with money in it, were still in the house.

    If the fire was set to cover up the burglary, these items would have been missing, Edwards said.

    Country Woods condominiums had another fire two days prior to the Monday fire.

    The home of the woman who reported the second fire also had damage from the Sept. 11 fire.

    “It is still highly suspicious,” Edwards said of the Sept. 11 fire.

    Although Orem police have not connected the two fires, both fires shared a common thread beside the same address: both apartments had disconnected smoke detectors.

    While suspicious, this does not necessarily mean the Sept. 11 fire was arson, Edwards said, which began on the stove of the woman’s apartment.

    Because of the two fires, the Country Woods condominiums will be under extra police patrol, he said.

    “We would advise people living there to report anything suspicious or out of the ordinary to the police,” Edwards said.

    The police have made no arrests in connection to the Monday fire, Edwards said.

    “No one has been identified as the arsonist at this point and the investigation is continuing,” Edwards said.

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