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Midvale duplex blaze may be tied to arsonist

SHARE Midvale duplex blaze may be tied to arsonist
Flames shoot from roof of vacant Midvale duplex. The fire may be related to a dozen or more suspicious fires in Salt Lake County.

Flames shoot from roof of vacant Midvale duplex. The fire may be related to a dozen or more suspicious fires in Salt Lake County.

Brendan Boldrin, for the Deseret Morning News

MIDVALE — Fire investigators were trying Monday to determine whether a two-alarm fire in a vacant duplex could be connected to a suspected serial arsonist.

Firefighters were called about 10:50 p.m. Sunday to a duplex under construction near 700 East and 6800 South. When they arrived flames were shooting 40 feet from the top of the structure, said Midvale Fire Capt. Jay Thomas.

The duplex was beyond saving, and the 43 firefighters from five agencies focused on preventing the flames from spreading to other structures.

The fire is considered suspicious because it started in a vacant home and took off rapidly.

Since last fall, there have been at least a dozen fires involving homes under construction or being demolished in West Jordan and the south end of Salt Lake County. Investigators believe all may be tied to a serial arsonist.

Damage in Sunday's fire was estimated at $160,000.