COSTILLA COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – As hundreds of firefighters battle the Spring Fire, new details are being released about the man accused of starting the fire.
Court documents state Jesper Joergensen was cooking meat on a fire pit on his property in Forbes Park on Tuesday. Jorgensen reportedly told authorities he believed the fire was out later that night, but did not pour water on it nor did he hold his hand near it to ensure it was completely cold.
Authorities say they first found Joergensen driving away from the property after the fire had started with burns on his body. Court documents state Jorgensen reportedly woke up from a nap and realized there was a fire 20 feet from his fire pit and tried to put the fire out himself.
The fire has destroyed an undetermined number of homes.
Authorities arrested Joergensen on suspicion of first degree arson. The Department of Homeland Security along with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told Costilla County Sheriff’s officials Jorgensen was in the country illegally and his visa had expired.
Joergensen, according to court documents, says he believes his fire pit did not start the Spring Fire.