15-year-old faces charges 
in fireworks-related blaze

A 15-year-old boy will face charges in connection with a blaze, believed started by fireworks, which damaged an elm tree at Little Salt Wash Park on Tuesday night.

Fruita police and the Lower Valley Fire Department were called around 6:30 p.m. about a tree burning on the southwest corner of the park, west of the soccer field, Police Chief Mark Angelo said in a release.

Investigation showed the 15-year-old boy allegedly set off numerous fireworks at the base of the tree. A 21-year-old man was also contacted, although his role is still being investigated, the release said.

The extent of damage to the tree wasn’t clear Wednesday.

The fire comes in the wake of thousands of dollars of damage reported in multiple vandalism incidents over the course of four days last week at the same park.

“We do not believe they are related,” Police Sgt. John Coughran said of Tuesday’s fire.


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