Fire suspect arrested

A Clifton man was arrested on suspicion of fourth-degree arson and reckless endangerment late Friday night after setting a bush on fire, forcing residents to evacuate from two homes, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department.

According to an arrest affidavit, Luke Daniel Mestas, 28, told a deputy he was staying with his parents at 3043 Gunnison Ave., when he started a fire in a pit outside to keep his hands warm. Mestas said he drank 40 ounces of Triple X and then dumped the contents of the fire pit onto a bush. Mestas said he ran around screaming to find water to pour on the bush, but he couldn’t find any, the affidavit said.

The fire spread to a wood pile, and residents of two homes used a garden hose in an attempt to put out flames. The fire spread to a wooden fence, a tree and a camp trailer, causing estimated damages of more than $1,100, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Firefighters from the Clifton Fire Protection District extinguished the blaze.

When police came to the scene, one man pointed at Mestas, saying, “He’s the one who started the fire. I don’t even want him here.”

Mestas agreed to blow into a device to measure the amount of alcohol in his system, which was 0.231 percent, the affidavit said. For motorists, the legal limit is 0.08 percent.

Mestas was on probation for a previous offense, the affidavit said.


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