Firefighters called to chapel, find popcorn popped and extinguisher emptied

ST. GEORGE — When a fire alarm was activated at a chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Monday afternoon, firefighters and others raced to the building. No fire was discovered but vandalism was.

Vandals burned popcorn and set off a fire extinguisher in an LDS chapel Monday, St. George, Utah, October 3, 2016 | Photo by Mike Cole, St. George News
Vandals burned popcorn and set off a fire extinguisher in an LDS chapel Monday, St. George, Utah, October 3, 2016 | Photo by Mike Cole, St. George News

“About 12:37 (p.m.) … Monday afternoon we had a fire alarm called in through the alarm company here at 1222 East Brigham Road,” St. George City Fire Chief Robert Stoker said. “Once we got into the building it was found that one of the … fire extinguishers had been removed from a cabinet and sprayed throughout a hallway here in the church.”

The powder from the fire extinguisher being sprayed in the hallway set off the fire alarm, Stoker said. But that was not the only thing firefighters found.

“There was some other minor damage and some items missing and some areas that had been tampered with,” Stoker said. “Right now we did call the police department down, and the officers are involved in this investigation.”

Stoker said the police department found some evidence on the scene and is tracking down some juveniles they believe are involved.

“The officer on scene has been in contact with the school resource officer,” Stoker said. “They do have a name they’re looking at.”

LDS Facilities Management personnel were at the chapel as well.

“No fire,” John Rowley of St. George said. “Kids burned popcorn in the microwave then set a fire extinguisher off.”

Rowley was asked if there was any sign of forced entry.

“Nothing looks broken,” Rowley said. “I’m going to go check the computer and see who opened it with what key,” alluding to the electronic key card system used at the chapel, which logs all entry to the chapel and which key card opened it.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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1 Comment

  • .... October 3, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    This is absolutely terrible and completely uncalled for. There was no reason whatsoever why this happened. I don’t care what religion someone is or someones opinion of religion is. but to damage someone’s church or place of worship is unnecessary and uncalled for.

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