Charges Referred To DA's Office For Man Responsible In Pueblo Fire

A Google Maps image showing the location of the fire in relation to Pueblo.

Seven agencies were needed to attack a grass fire after a controlled burn got wildly out of hand, scorching around 25 acres before crews could contain it.

Now, the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office wants charges filed against the man accused of starting the fire.

According to the Sheriff's Office, 82-year-old Tony Martellaro says he started a controlled burn in the morning, then called the Pueblo County Burn Line and found he was not permitted to burn that day due to a red flag warning.

The Sheriff's Office says that Martellaro didn't extinguish the fire after learning he couldn't conduct a controlled burn, but instead kept an eye on the fire until he had to go inside his home. While inside, the flames spread to a nearby river bottom. Martellaro tried to put it out at that point, but couldn't.

Neighbors saw the flames and called 911.

Emergency Services Bureau Captain Leroy Mora said the event could have been much, much worse.

“This gentleman is very lucky his neighbors didn’t lose their homes," said Mora. Several houses were threatened by the fire, but ultimately were left largely undamaged.

Read the earlier report here.