Man Suspected of Starting 38,000 Acre Forest Fire
A man was taken into the custody of the Costilla County Sheriff’s office last Saturday under suspicion of committing arson that lead to the Colorado Springs forest fire. The forest fire has lead to the evacuation of hundreds and the destruction of several structures.
Jesper Joergensen, a 52 year old illegal immigrant from Denmark, reportedly was among the first to report the blaze to authorities and initially stated that he was burning trash before later stating he was cooking in a permanent fire pit.
Mr. Joergensen says that he had been grilling in his fire pit and had smothered the fire and went to bed once he had finished. When asked if he had doused the fire in water, he stated he had not and did not believe it necessary as he believed the fire to have been smothered. He reports that he woke up to the smell of fire and attempted to put the blaze out with a blanket before it caught fire.
The report notes that Mr. Joergensen had several burns on his person, and was shaking and very nervous.
He stands by his statement that the fire couldn’t have started from his fire pit, as he had ensured the fire was smothered.