Grandson is charged in big fire
The huge fire in north Grand Junction that belched thick black smoke across the Grand Valley on Saturday was human-caused, according to law enforcement who made an arrest in the case.
The man authorities believe was responsible for the blaze, Cutter Vincent-Foster, 27, was actually out on bond for allegedly previously burglarizing the property in the 700 block of 26 Road, which belongs to his grandfather, according to an arrest affidavit in the case.
The massive fire — which burned a barn and two vehicles on the property, but also caused a wildland fire in the acres of brush and cheatgrass nearby — was apparently started when Vincent-Foster burned the belongings of a woman with whom he had been illegally living on the property.
“He threatened to burn her belongings in the barn (via Facebook messenger),” an arrest record for Vincent-Foster said.
The time stamp on that message, according to police, was 12:57 on Saturday. The call for service related to the fire at the property was literally 10 minutes later, authorities noted.
In the past, Vincent-Foster had been living in an RV on the property and running electricity into the vehicle from the barn nearby, without the permission of his grandparents, family told police.
Two burglaries had been reported at the property within the last year, and Vincent-Foster was named as a suspect in connection with each incident. The first burglary happened in January, when a black Ruger revolver, a Merkel hunting rifle, ammunition and jewelry were taken.
Another burglary was reported March 30 at the property, and two road bicycles, some tools, and a mannequin worth an estimated $5,000 were taken.
The barn, lost in the fire, was uninsured and estimated to be valued at $80,000.
Vincent-Foster was advised on possible charges of second-degree arson, second-degree burglary and theft, among other charges, and was issued a $100,000 cash-only bond by Mesa County Judge Michael Grattan on Thursday. His next court date was set for July 26.