Fireplace Ashes Caused Huge Nevada Brush Fire

'Remorseful' elderly man comes forward to police
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2012 7:58 AM CST
The ruins of a home in Pleasant Valley, south of Reno, Nev.   (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)
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(Newser) – The massive brush fire near Reno this week that destroyed 29 homes, burned 3,200 acres, forced the evacuation of thousands, and may have caused a death had the most innocent of causes: Police say an elderly man admits accidentally setting it off by improperly disposing of ashes from his fireplace, reports the Los Angeles Times. "He came forward on his own accord," says Reno's fire chief. "He has given statements to our investigators as well as law enforcement officers. He is extremely remorseful."

The DA will determine whether he will face criminal or financial charges. Meanwhile, firefighters got a break from the weather yesterday and nearly have the fire under control, reports AP. As for the death: Authorities found the body of a 93-year-old woman, though her death has not been definitively linked to the fire so far.

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