CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Fire at Orem Temple site believed to be arson, ATF offers reward

Sep 6, 2022, 4:06 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:27 am
Orem temple arson...
Photo of the fire and smoke damage inside the Orem Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (ATF)
(ATF)

OREM, Utah — The ATF and Orem Police are offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest after a fire at the site of the Orem Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Officials believe the fire was an act of arson.

Neighbors and drivers reported the fire at 1471 South Geneva Road in Orem on the evening of July 25.

It was originally believed the fire was caused by a construction-related accident. When firefighters arrived they found light smoke and “minimal active fire” in a utility room on the third floor. 

A poster from the ATF says fire damage was limited to a certain portion of the temple, but that the entire building was exposed to smoke damage. There were no injuries.

In a statement, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints thanked law enf0rcement and investigators.

“In recent years there has been an unfortunate worldwide increase of violence, vandalism and desecration of religious sites and buildings, including shootings, arson, graffiti, damage to facilities, and more,” said spokesperson Doug Andersen.

“This has also affected chapels and temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Such sites are places of gathering and sacred worship, and should be places of peace and safety. We are grateful for the efforts of local and federal law enforcement officials to investigate such instances and prosecute those who engage in those actions.”

Completion of the Orem Temple is expected by the fall of 2023. When completed it will be the first temple in Orem and the sixth in Utah County for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Reward for information about the fire at the Orem Temple

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in conjunction with the Orem Police Department, is offering a $5,000 reward. 

Crystal McCoy with the ATF told KSL NewsRadio they are thankful that nobody was injured in the fire. 

“We’re giving all of our resources and support to this investigation cause we really do hope to help solve this,” McCoy said.

“I mean, arson is a violent crime. This is very dangerous. We’re very fortunate in this situation no one was injured. But that’s really kind of luck. ”

Please call the ATF at 888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477) or the Orem Police Department at 801-229-7070 if you have information.

Information can also be emailed to ATFTips@atf.gov or through the ATF’s website.

Aimee Cobabe contributed to this story.

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Fire at Orem Temple site believed to be arson, ATF offers reward