State

Feb 5, 2013 11:21 PM by Connie Murphy

Volunteer firefighter accused of starting wildfire

DENVER (AP) - A 19-year-old Elbert County volunteer firefighter has been arrested on allegations that he started a wildfire that evacuated the town of Elbert last June.

Sheriff's officials say Elbert Fire Protection District volunteer Alex J. Averette was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of charges including second-degree arson, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and second-degree criminal trespass. Bond was set at $50,000.

Averette is accused of starting the County Road 102 Fire north of Elbert on June 24. The fire burned hundreds of acres. Firefighting resources around the state were strained at the time due to other wildfires.

Details on how investigators believe the fire was started weren't immediately released.

Averette's phone number isn't listed, and it's not known if he has a lawyer who can comment on his behalf.

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