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Investigators determine Stetson Hills fire caused by man tossing smoldering fire pit ashes

@CSFDPIO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Investigators have determined that a wildfire on the 6700 block of Akerman Dr. in Colorado Springs Thursday was started after a homeowner threw smoldering ashes from a fire pit over his fence.

According to the Colorado Springs Police Department, Joshua Allen was served and released for "Firing Woods or Prairie", which is a class 6 felony. The fire began around 11:30 a.m. Thursday and prompted the evacuation of hundreds of homes in the area. However, it is important to note that Allen was one of the people who called 9-1-1 when the fire started.

I talked with my chain of command and we looked at every aspect possible. The gentleman was very cooperative. He was remorseful about it. So we were looking at class two [misdemeanor], but again, with the burn restrictions that are set in place, we just went with class six felony.

"We ended up charging that person with burning and 'Firing Woods or Prairie'," said Shawn Mahon, CSPD's EOD/Arson Unit Acting Sergeant. "Basically what that is, it means that anyone that has set a fire, knowingly, recklessly or negligent-wise, setting a fire to property, or the wildland areas in the woods can get charged with a class six felony or a class two misdemeanor. There was a difference yesterday that we had to look at, because there was fire restrictions and fire bans put in place by the City Fire Marshal. So we ended up charging that gentleman with a class six felony."

El Paso County is currently under fire restrictions, but officials warn a burn ban may be in place by the Memorial Day weekend.

Several fire agencies in El Paso County - as well as some Colorado Springs Police officers - responded to this incident to assist with firefighting efforts, evacuations, and traffic control. CSPD says several people were treated at the scene for smoke exposure. Close to 20 homes were damaged but none were lost.

KRDO News

Comments

13 Comments

    1. Potential penalties for a Cl@ss 6 Felony conviction: 1K-100K fine and/or 12-18 months prison. All for being STUPID and (1) using a fire pit in this weather, and (2) not ensuring that said fire pit has been properly extinguished.

  1. So the Teller fire is listed as human caused, and we have fires so far in Colorado Springs starting with a house fire, a law enforcement vehicle driving in high gras s, and a rich guy with his fire pit. It’s going to be a long season.

    1. Marie, where are you getting your source regarding High Park Fire?
      Here is what the government uses.

      https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8102/

      Under incident information
      Cause: Unknown

      Great resource for wildfires.

      This information has the most recent news release of information that is from the Incident Commander’s release.

    2. You can’t tell if a person is rich by the neighborhood he or she lives in. There are so many factors and variables to account for whether or not they are rich or not (i.e., alimony, child support, lifestyle, etc.). He could be like the majority of Americans, living paycheck to paycheck.

  2. Wow. Lots of Judgy McJudgersons on here. I know the guy. He was likely just not thinking for a second, kind of like every other time YOU did something moronic or careless. Oh, wait…..that’s right! You NEVER did anything completely stupid without thinking. Be careful. You’re superiority is showing.
    And he’s taking his medicine for it. Grow up and get a life instead of attacking people anonymously online.

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