Attempt to identify

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The Cache County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to help identify a person of interest in an arson case that occurred in Providence two weeks ago.

Lt. Doyle Peck confirmed the arson under investigation occurred on Sept. 21 at a private residence where a wreath, wood and other items were set alight inside a barbecue grill on the homeowners’ porch.

According to Peck, the homeowners — Jeanette Norton and George Wootton — avoided serious damage only by catching the blaze early.

“It could have caught the entire home on fire,” Peck said.

Identifying the man, Peck said, may help pinpoint a motive and determine whether the arson was a random act or if the homeowners were targeted.

“What are we dealing with?” Peck asked. “If you’re targeted, that changes things a little bit.”

Wootton told The Herald Journal neither he nor his wife were able to identify the man and confirmed the image was taken from a neighbor’s home security camera.

Norton told The Herald Journal last month she had been asleep when awoke to a noise on home’s front porch and saw five-foot flames coming from the grill — past the flames, Norton saw a man fleeing the home in the night. It was reported the home had seen vandalism once before in the form of smashed political signage.

Wootton said he and his wife are still a bit disconcerted after the arson, but they’re managing fine and have since installed their own home security cameras.

“As it gets dark, we get a little more nervous,” Wootton said. “It’s not something we’re going to forget real soon.”

Peck said he hopes the incident serves as a public reminder to be good neighbors. If something suspicious occurs, Peck said, report it.

“Watch out for each other,” Peck said.

While he wants folks to be aware these kinds of incidents can happen, Wootton said he has been heartened by the response and support of his neighbors. For Wootton, there are lots of great things and great people in Cache Valley.

“That’s what we would like for people to take away from this,” Wootton said. “We all should be good to each other.”

The Sheriff’s Office encouraged those with any information regarding the case to contact Detective Bennett at (435)755-1294 or kbennett@cachesheriff.org.

“As always, you can remain anonymous,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote.

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