On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, three separate fires damaged meetinghouses for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in St. George, Utah. One of the fires caused significant damage.
According to the local news report, the first fire was reported at approximately 4 a.m. to a meetinghouse on 3000 East in the 1200 South block. This was the most serious fire and sustained heavy damage. Soon after, another report came in stating portions of the landscaping at a meetinghouse near River Road and Rustic Drive.
Now alert, police officers in the area began checking other meetinghouses and discovered smoke from a third meetinghouse. A silver minivan was parked outside and they saw a man exit the building. They were unable to stop the man and a vehicular chase ensued. The tires were spiked twice in an attempt to stop the vehicle, which eventually crashed near Zion National Park and caught on fire. No one was seriously injured and the man is now in custody; no information about the man’s identity has been released.
Robert Stoker, the St. George Fire Chief, told reporters the fires were being labeled as suspicious but arson had not been officially confirmed. Multiple agencies are looking into the incident and anyone with information is asked to contact the local authorities at 435-627-4338.