SALT LAKE CITY

Neighbors say Wells Ward meetinghouse was left in disrepair for years before fire

May 27, 2024, 9:00 PM

wells ward meetinghouse in ruins after fire...

Salt Lake City fire responders work on a historic abandoned LDS church after it caught fire in Sugarhouse on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY  A nearly 100-year-old church is set to be demolished after a fire Sunday morning left it in ruins.

Firefighters rescued two people from the flames Sunday inside the Wells Ward meetinghouse.

Related: Utah saw 12% decrease in traffic fatalities from 2022-2023

Fire officials told KSL TV that Salt Lake City’s arson unit is leading this investigation. Those two people were questioned and released Sunday.

Officials consider them patients unless their findings in the coming weeks say otherwise. Neighbors that KSL spoke to said it’s nothing new to find people inside this vacant building who shouldn’t be.

People living in the Liberty Wells neighborhood also said the Wells Ward building has been a sad sight for the last few years.

The massive fire that destroyed the church makes it even more painful for Amy Luder to look at.

“It was interesting that just before it’s supposed to be demolished, that a fire started,” Luder said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns the church, closed the building after the 2020 earthquake left it unstable.

“It’s been fenced off and nothing was done to it,” Luder said. “And just sitting there empty.

Read more about the Wells Ward meetinghouse from KSL TV.

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Neighbors say Wells Ward meetinghouse was left in disrepair for years before fire