COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Sergeant Shawn Mahon with the Colorado Springs Police Arson Unit told KRDO Friday that a homeowner is facing a felony charge because he "negligently" ignored burn restrictions, causing the Akerman Fire in a Stetson Hills neighborhood Thursday.
Sergeant Mahon said a homeowner "had some ashes from [a] fire pit and took the ashes and dumped it over a fence by his property" into an easement between his home and his neighbor's. Police said it took only seconds for the blaze to spark. The homeowner called 911, but the fire had already started to spread.
The Akerman Fire ultimately scorched 30 acres, damaged 20 homes, and forced hundreds to evacuate.
If burn restrictions weren't in place, Sergeant Mahon said the man likely would've only been charged with a level 2 misdemeanor.
"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," Sergeant Mahon said.
The homeowner does not have any court appearances scheduled yet.
For a full list of current burn restrictions in El Paso County, click here.