Electrician Arrested in $2.5M Utah Apartment Building Fire

February 19, 2014

An electrician arrested in a Feb. 9 fire that destroyed a Salt Lake City apartment complex under construction had worked on the project, his employer said.

Dustin Bowman, 33, of Bountiful, was booked late Friday night into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of arson in the blaze that caused an estimated $2.5 million in damage.

Dave Conrad, owner of Conelco-Conrad Electric Inc., a subcontractor on the apartment project, told The Salt Lake Tribune that Bowman had worked at the site for about two weeks and had worked for the company off and on for years.

Bowman posted three photos and a link to a news story about the fire to his Facebook page.

“I guess I’m not going to work,” he wrote the morning after the blaze, adding he “can’t really afford a day off.”

According to jail booking documents, Bowman stated he intentionally started the fire. No motive has been provided by authorities.

He also was booked on two misdemeanor warrants – one alleging refusal to pay legal fare and the other failure to appear – from the South Salt Lake Justice Court.

Bowman, who has prior felony and misdemeanor convictions for drug offenses, remained in jail Sunday in lieu of $20,352 bail.

There was no immediate word on whether Bowman has a lawyer, and his family declined comment.

The 40-foot-tall building was planned to have 61 units and cover 64,000 square feet.

No one was inside the building at the time of the fire, and no one was hurt. Flames were visible for miles around Salt Lake City.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced the arrest Saturday. It has been working with the Salt Lake City Fire Department on the investigation.

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