This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The man suspected of igniting the fire at the home where Utah restaurateur John Williams died Sunday was seen at the house as the blaze began and never attempted to call 911, according to a document filed with the Salt Lake County jail.
Craig Crawford, 47, Williams' estranged husband, was booked on suspicion of first-degree-felony counts of aggravated homicide and arson, according to Salt Lake City police.
Williams' body was found by the Salt Lake City Fire Department early Sunday when crews responded to a fire at Williams' home near 600 North and East Capitol Street (200 East) at about 1:20 a.m.
Paramedics pronounced Williams, 72, dead at the scene.
The probable-cause statement police filed with the jail says that as firefighters arrived at the house about 1:30 a.m., they could hear someone yelling for help. They entered the home and found "one male," apparently Williams, inside the house.
Meanwhile, police detectives were called.
"Evidence appears to suggest the suspect was home during the beginning stages of the fire," the two-paragraph document says. "He was seen walking back to the house while the house was engulfed in flames.
"It was confirmed that the suspect never called Salt Lake City Fire or Salt Lake City Police about the fire," the jail document states. "Evidence at the property was found that suggests the fire was set intentionally inside the house by the suspect."
The document does not explain that evidence.
Fire officials estimated damage to the home at $750,000.
Williams had been a partner in Gastronomy Inc., the business that owns Market Street Grill, the New Yorker and other restaurants and property in the Salt Lake City area.
Court records show Williams filed for divorce from Crawford on May 4, and that Williams filed for a temporary restraining order against Crawford on May 6, which was denied by the court.
Crawford then filed a temporary protective order against Williams on May 13, which also was denied, according to court documents.
Gastronomy spokesman John Becker said Sunday that Williams had been retired from day-to-day operations for several years, but he had previously directed the company's property acquisitions for at least 40 years.
"We are all completely saddened and struggling with the loss," Becker said. "John Williams was a leader in the hospitality industry and will be deeply missed. He was a great contributor to our civic arts, economics, humanities and the hospitality sectors of Utah."
No other injuries were reported in the home, which stood several stories high. Detectives and fire investigators were looking into the case to determine the exact cause.
The state medical examiner plans to perform an autopsy on Williams' body.
Crawford is being held at the jail in lieu of $1 million bail.