Overnight fire at the Orem Utah Temple extinguished, under investigation

Neighbors and motorists reported seeing smoke and flames in the upper levels of the under-construction, three-story temple late Monday, July 25

OREM, Utah — Investigation continues into a small, overnight fire inside the under-construction Orem Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Flames were reported Monday, July 25, just before midnight inside the temple, 1471 S. Geneva Road. The fire was quickly and easily extinguished.

“The source of the fire is not yet known, but it is believed that the fire started on the third floor of the temple,” said Church spokesman Doug Andersen. “Foam was used to extinguish the fire as much as possible, which limited water damage to the construction site.

“Damage is still being evaluated this morning. The Church is grateful to the Orem Fire Department for their quick response.”

Fire officials said first reports came from residents of neighboring apartments and motorists driving by — reports logged about 11:10 p.m. of smoke coming out from the temple’s upper floors. Arriving firefighters found only light smoke and minimal fire activity in a third-floor utility room.

The cause remains under investigation, which is involving Orem’s fire and police departments as well as county and state fire officials. The Church has also requested the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as part of the investigation.

The Orem temple — three stories and 70,000 square feet in size — was one of eight announced on Oct. 5, 2019, by President Russell M. Nelson during the Saturday evening women’s session of general conference.

The First Presidency announced the temple site on Dec. 11, 2019, 15.39 acres just west of Interstate 15, near Utah Valley University. Elder Craig C. Christensen, a General Authority Seventy and then president of the Church’s Utah Area, presided at the Sept. 5, 2020, groundbreaking ceremony, offering both remarks and the dedicatory prayer.

No completion date has been officially announced, but the temple is expected to be finished sometime in 2023.

Correction: An earlier version of the story had the incorrect date of the fire. The fire was on Monday, July 25.

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