On Saturday, a Utah County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a structure fire in Lakeshore. The fire was allegedly linked to two young girls who lived in the area.
“A call came in and it ended up being an abandoned old house out in the Lincoln Beach area,” Utah County Sheriff’s Office PIO Sergeant Spencer Cannon said. "It did burn the house down, and it hadn’t been lived in for at least 10 years or more."
After arriving on the scene, first responders walked around the surrounding area looking for witnesses and information. The UCSO deputy found a witness who reportedly saw two girls walking away from the house looking scared.
The two girls reportedly got on their bicycles and left the building to the east. After making contact with others in the area, first responders were able to get the addresses for the two girls.
After arriving at the residence of 18-year-old Felecya Lee Paige in Lakeshore, she was not home. Her father was home and reportedly informed the deputy that Paige and the 15-year-old girl had been out riding bicycles in the area.
The 15-year-old and her family were then contacted and arrived at Paige’s residence. The girl's stepfather reportedly told officers she had admitted to him that they had started the fire.
The young girl reportedly told the deputy that the two had been out riding bicycles when they went into the abandoned house. Paige then allegedly lit some of the wallpaper on fire and things were added to the fire before it got out of hand.
According to the probable cause statement, when Paige returned to the residence, she initially refused to speak with deputies, and when her father tried to talk with her about the situation she became agitated and confrontational.
She allegedly stated that she did not care what happens, and added, “I could care less, I started the fire. It was an old piece of junk, I don’t care what happens,” according to the probable cause statement.
Cannon said the building was a total loss, adding that an estimated response time for fire crews would have been approximately 15 to 20 minutes but it could have been longer.
From what Cannon had been told about the incident there was also no fire hydrant access in the area, which was an added challenge for first responders.
Paige was placed under arrest and booked into the Utah County Jail on one charge of arson and one charge for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.