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May 21, 2024

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Utah RO Destroys Unit With Pro Fireworks During Repo

ST. GEORGE, Utah —The owner of a pickup is in jail facing an arson charge after a firework detonated inside his truck’s cab during a repossession operation.

Firefighters extinguish a suspected fireworks-related truck fire during a repossession operation in St. George, Utah, March 2, 2023 | Submitted photo, St. George News

Officers responded Thursday evening to an apartment complex off East 450 North in St. George to a report of a vehicle fire in front of the complex. The St. George Fire Department also responded and quickly extinguished the blaze.

According to charging documents filed in 5th District Court, officers arrived to find a gray Toyota Tacoma hooked to a tow truck. The Tacoma had a damaged cab, three broken windows and the others clouded in smoke.

Prior to the 911 call, officers learned, the Tacoma was in the process of being repossessed, and the tow truck operator told the registered owner, Christopher Jake Macintosh, 19, he could remove his personal property from the vehicle prior to it being towed.

Authorities allege the suspect lit a large firework inside the cab of the Toyota and left the area. The Toyota was still hooked to the wrecker when the firework detonated and ignited the truck’s cab.

During an inspection of the Toyota’s interior, officers found several burn marks along the interior that were covered with a residue consistent with a firework being detonated inside the vehicle. 

The entire cab of the truck was destroyed and would need to be replaced, pushing the damage estimate well over $1,500, the report states.

When officers responded to the suspect’s residence, they spoke to Macintosh, who reportedly said “his truck was repossessed today,” and while he did admit to having fireworks in the truck, police say, the suspect “would not admit to lighting the fireworks himself.”

Macintosh was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked into jail shortly after 7 p.m. facing third-degree felony arson. His bail was set to $5,000. 

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