Three More Fires Reported at Remains of Burned Law Office in Utah

Three arson fires have occurred at the remains of a Layton law office destroyed along with four other businesses in a strip-mall blaze last week, fire officials said.


LAYTON, Utah (AP) -- Three arson fires have occurred at the remains of a Layton law office destroyed along with four other businesses in a strip-mall blaze last week, fire officials said.

Attorneys at Bean & Smedley law firm are baffled why anyone would want to start more fires in their office.

Attorney Emilie Bean said there are always two sides to a legal dispute, but for someone to be angry enough to start fires in their office is beyond her comprehension.

''I can't imagine anyone doing this knowing they could go to prison over it,'' Bean said.

Firefighters responded to a small fire at 10:30 p.m. Saturday after paramedics saw smoke coming from the strip mall destroyed by a fire July 5, said Layton Fire Chief Kevin Ward.

Fire investigators said there were two points of origin in the July 5 fire. The first was in the law office and the second was in the Layton Visual Center. The strip mall also was home to Wesley Wilcox's dental office, Gilbert Hair Studio and Meditech.com.

Firefighters were called again to the scene at 6 p.m. Sunday to put out another small fire, Ward said.

Then they were called again for a third time Monday afternoon, said Assistant Police Chief Craig Gibson.

Ward said none of the last three fires are flare-ups from the original fire. All of them were intentionally started and are being investigated as arson.

Police have stepped up patrols in the area, in hopes of catching whoever is starting the fires, Gibson said.

Saturday, Ward said firefighters found a drawer from a filing cabinet out on the asphalt with its contents burning. On Sunday, files on top of a shelf area were burning.

On Monday, it was wood inside the attorney's office that was burning, Gibson said.

Gibson said investigators are not sure if the four fires are related or were started by different individuals.

''We don't know. They're burning goofy stuff, and it doesn't make sense,'' Gibson said.

Bean said most of the attorneys' current working files have been moved from the site.

Information from: Standard-Examiner