Police: Suspect arrested for causing Springville brush fire while trying to kill spider with lighter

Aug 1, 2022, 6:28 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2022, 7:10 pm

SPRINGVILLE, Utah — Police have a man in custody after allegedly catching a hillside on fire while attempting to burn a spider on Monday afternoon.

In arresting documents, Cory Allan Martin, 26, of Draper, Utah, told first responders that he started the fire accidentally after finding a spider and trying to burn it with his lighter.

Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said this start might be the most unusual fire start he had seen.

“A fire to start by someone because somebody was trying to burn a spider with a lighter. That might top the list of unusual fire starts,“ Cannon said.

When authorities arrested him, they found marijuana and other drug paraphernalia in his backpack.

Martin was booked into the Utah County Jail for possession of marijuana, reckless burn that endangers human life, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

Provo Fire Capt. Sam Armstrong with Provo Fire & Rescue said the fire was called in around 4:43 p.m. near 1400 North Main Street in Springville.

He said the fire started to move up the hill as the wind pushed it, and no structures were threatened.

State fire officials said the Springville Fire burned approximately 60 acres and was 90% contained Tuesday.

Multiple fire crews responded to the fire, which burned between Springville and Provo.

Had it not been for air resources, firefighters said this blaze could have been a lot worse.

Cannon reminds residents that a small flame from a lighter can grow into something uncontrollable.

“We know that sparks from dragging tow chains or sparks shot out of a muffler on an ATV or something like that can cause these, so currently, a tiny little flame can create something to grow to create the problem we are having down there right now.”

A wildland division helicopter dowsing the fire on the Springville hill. (Courtesy: Pritha Lal)


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Police: Suspect arrested for causing Springville brush fire while trying to kill spider with lighter