Fire breaks out inside Orem Latter-day Saint temple
Pat Reavy, KSL.com
OREM, Utah (KSL.com) — A fire broke out inside the Orem Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints overnight.
According to church spokesman Doug Andersen, just before midnight Monday flames became visible inside the Orem temple, 471 S Geneva Road, which is currently under construction.
“The source of the fire is not yet known, but it is believed that the fire started on the third floor of the temple. Foam was used to extinguish the fire as much as possible, which limited water damage to the construction site. Damage is still being evaluated this morning. The church is grateful to the Orem Fire Department for their quick response,” Andersen said.
Orem fire Battalion Chief Shaun Hirst said emergency dispatchers actually started getting calls from residents of neighboring apartments and motorists driving by reporting smoke coming from the upper floors of the temple at about 11:10 p.m. The first arriving crews found “very light smoke” and “minimal” fire activity in a utility room on the third floor, which was quickly extinguished.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation Tuesday. Because of the type of building it is, Hirst said Orem firefighters are receiving assistance from the State Fire Marshal, the Utah County Fire Department and Orem police. Additionally, church officials have requested the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as part of the investigation, he said.
The Orem temple site was announced by church leaders in October 2019 and construction of the 70,000 square-foot building began nearly a year later, in September 2020. It is unknown whether the fire will delay its completion, which has not yet been announced.