Salt Lake Firebugs Imitate New York

Salt Lake Firebugs Imitate New York

During the later part of January a fire alarm was turned in from the west side of Salt Lake City, Utah, and the department responded. On arrival at the fire Chief W. H. Bywater found that two different fires were burning in the building, one in an upper room and one in the kitchen near the range. The building was occupied by colored people and was used as a rooming house for colored porters. No one was in the building when the fire department arrived, but shortly after the fire was under control, a young colored man appeared, and it was learned that he, his brother and mother operated the rooming house. After being sharply questioned by Chief Bywater, the young man confessed that they had scattered gasoline in the different rooms and lit it. The chief had the mother and two sons (one 22 years of age and the other 23) arrested. At the station house they confessed that they had arranged to have the building fired, the boys to do the lighting. It was learned that insurance to the amount of $700 had been placed on some old furniture which was practically worthless, and the object of the proprietors was to burn the furniture and collect the insurance. The three pleaded guilty and will be sentenced at the next session of the District Court. The Chief thinks that the arrest and conviction of these people will have such a moral effect on similar persons that it will practically stop incendiary fires in his city for the present at least.

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