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50-year-old man accused of setting fire in Bountiful apartment complex

May 21, 2018

BOUNTIFUL — Police have arrested a 50-year-old man who they say purposely started a fire in a Bountiful apartment complex Saturday night. 

Ronald Wayne Makin was booked in Davis County Jail on Sunday morning on one count of aggravated arson, a first-degree felony. 

Police and fire crews were dispatched to 1450 N. 285 East in Bountiful after they received a call of a fire in an apartment building, according to a press release from the Bountiful Police Department

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When crews arrived, residents were evacuating the building. Two residents were on the second floor using fire extinguishers to put out a carpet fire, the release says. 

Crews found one man who said he had smoke inhalation and he was taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries, the release says. 

Once fire crews put out the fire, they found burn patterns in the second floor carpet and a stairwell that were consistent with an “ignitable liquid,” the release says. 

Investigators determined the cause of the fire was arson, and the fire is estimated to have caused $100,000 in damage. The complex is a low-income housing area for people with “disabilities or other medical problems,” according to a probable cause statement for Makin’s arrest.

As police arrived to help investigate the arson case, Makin tried to help the responders and talk to them about what was going on, according to the statement.

Police later found that Makin had a gas can in the bed of his truck, and when police asked what he was doing prior to the fire, his story “didn’t make sense,” the arrest document says. 

Police examined security footage and saw Makin entering through the main set of doors for the apartment, but didn’t leave through the same doors. When asked, he said he was taking out his trash, but he wasn’t seen with a bag on the security cameras, according to the probable cause statement. 

Makin also had a lighter in his pocket and told police it was for a barbecue he was planning to attend Sunday. Police questioned Makin’s wife, who said he did not smoke and normally doesn’t carry a lighter. 

Makin was taken into custody shortly after and booked into jail. 

He is being held in lieu of a $150,000 bond, according to jail booking records. Makin has not been formally charged in court as of Monday afternoon and does not have a court date set in Farmington’s 2nd District Court. 

Contact reporter Jacob Scholl at jscholl@standard.net  or follow him on Twitter @Jacob_Scholl.