West Valley man ‘obsessed’ with owner of massage business charged with starting $2M fire

Salt Lake firefighters respond to a fire at an office building in Sugar House on Sunday, June 13, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Prosecutors say a West Valley man obsessed with the owner of a massage parlor who has a history of stalking the owner of a second massage business in the same complex intentionally started a fire that burned down both businesses and more than 20 others.

The fire at a multi-unit office building in Sugar House caused more than $2 million in damage.

Alex Kentish Tuita, 37, was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with three counts of aggravated arson, a first-degree felony, and two counts of stalking, a second-degree felony.

The large fire destroyed the office building at 1104 E. Ashton Ave. on June 13. The blaze also spread and damaged a nearby home and duplex. Damage to the office structure was estimated at $1.75 million just for the…

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