Payson man dies in fire

Michael Rigert DAILY HERALD


A 39-year-old Payson man died in an apartment fire Monday evening that he may have set.

Joseph Spencer Fox was identified by Payson fire officials after his body was found in the bedroom of his apartment after the fire was extinguished.

Fox was a tenant at a four-apartment complex at 257 S.
500 East.

Crews responded to the fire around 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Payson Fire Chief Scott Spencer said the man suffered second-, third- and fourth-degree burns and was found alone in the apartment.

"After the fire was out and body transported to the medical examiner's office, we found the leftover components of the room with liquid accelerant poured on the floor and some self-inflicted wounds," he said.

The windows of both bedrooms in the man's apartment, which he shared with a sister, were open, and Fox's bedroom door was braced shut with a crutch handle.

Spencer said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, and the cause of Fox's death will be determined by the medical examiner.

Though Payson fire and police officials evacuated all four apartments, no one else was injured.

Spencer said the American Red Cross provided overnight lodging to two of the apartments' tenants.

A third tenant was able to return to his apartment later that night.

He estimated the apartment sustained about $25,000 worth of damage, mainly to the bedroom and nearby hallway.