BURLEY — The state fire marshal is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect responsible for the downtown Burley fire and pipe bomb on Monday.
State Fire Marshal Knute Sandahl said the award is offered through a program in conjunction with the Northwest Insurance Council.
“The crime of arson is bad enough,” Sandahl said. “But there are explosives involved in this case.”
A vacant building at 1222 Overland Ave. was deliberately set on fire inside the building using paper and rags. The building was a total loss. Some type of fire accelerant was used throughout the building, the fire investigator said. Samples of the accelerant have been sent to a lab for testing. The vacant building next door was destroyed by water and smoke.
Across the street at a new unopened restaurant a pipe bomb was found tucked inside the door knocker at the business entrance. Both destroyed buildings and the restaurant are owned by Brek Pilling and his partner Brian Tibbets. Pilling has not returned calls from the Times-News.
“We are currently taking information on the case and if that information leads to the arrest of a person the caller is eligible for up to $5,000,” Sandahl said.
To report information call the arson tip line at 1-877-75-ARSON. The caller can remain anonymous.
“If someone does call anonymously they still need to leave their phone number because the tip may generate follow-up questions,” Sandahl said. “But we will keep their name confidential.”
The amount of the reward will be determined by the insurance council.
“We had a case a few years ago in Victor where the person received the full $5,000,” Sandahl said.
Cassia County Undersheriff George Warrell said on Friday that there are no new developments in the case. The case is under investigation by the sheriff’s office, the state fire marshal and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
“We are doing a lot of interviews,” Warrell wrote to the Times-News. “I can’t release information yet about a suspect.”
Verl Jarvie, deputy investigator for the state fire marshal said earlier in the week that someone had “...gone to some effort to make sure the building burned.”
A pickup truck that was wanted in connection with the incidents was recovered by the sheriff’s office on Tuesday. Police are not releasing many details including who the pickup belonged to or where it was found.
A pile of burned debris and building rubble remained in the parking lane in front of the buildings on Friday and police tape cordoned off the right-hand southbound lane of Overland Avenue, which is a state highway. Business owners in the area have expressed concern about the mess and the hazard of potentially falling brick.
“We have contacted the building owners and asked them to get it cleaned up,” Mark Mitton wrote in an email to the Times-News. “The city can take action if they don’t clean it up soon. “
Mitton said the area is roped off to prevent people from getting too close and to prevent someone from getting injured.