Mar 27, 2013 3:55 PM by David Ortiviz

Fire started by elderly man prompts warnings

Emergency responders are stressing the importance of fire safety after a man started a fire in Pueblo County that nearly destroyed several homes. It happened early last week, near South Rd. and 32nd Ln. on the mesa. Pueblo County Emergency Services says Tony Martellaro, 82, burned a trash pile even though he knew there was a red flag warning day--meaning no fires were allowed. Martellaro could now be charged with a felony.

With a high fire danger right now authorities want everyone to know, careless burning won't be tolerated. "We have precautions and warnings out there for a reason and if you do call the burn line says it's a red flag you need to pay close attention to that because if you don't obviously we saw what happened," said Capt. Leroy Mora, with the Emergency Services Bureau at the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office.

The fire burned about 15 acres of land and firefighters say their quick response saved at least four houses from burning. Pueblo District Attorney Jeff Chostner received the case today and is reviewing the recommended charges against Martellaro.

Pueblo County Burn Hotline: 719-583-2876


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