November 17, 2021

Man ‘obsessed’ with owner of massage business charged in $2M fire

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 June 13 fire at a multi-unit office building at 1104 E. Ashton Ave. 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 blaze also spread and damaged a nearby home and duplex. Damage to the office structure was estimated at $1.75 million just for the building itself, according to charging documents, with “the amount of loss to each of the approximately 25 businesses within the building (being) unknown at this time.”

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