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Winona resident arrested and felony booked for starting fire

Sedona AZ (April 9, 2018)On April 8, 2018 around 12:17 p.m., the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a fire in the Winona, Arizona area along North Copley Drive. Evacuation notifications were done through Code Red and door to door notifications and one arrest was made.

On April 8 around 12:17 p.m., Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the report of a fire in the Winona area, a community located approximately ten miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona near Interstate 40. Units arrived on scene and observed fire units from Summit Fire District working an active fire in the area of North Copley Drive.

Around 12:30 p.m., Code Red was activated for the Winona area and pre-evacuation information was sent out to the Doney Park and Timberline-Fernwood areas. By approximately 1:00 p.m., 75 homes had been evacuated in the Winona area.

Fire units from Summit Fire, Flagstaff Fire Department, and the U.S. Forest Service were on scene.

During an investigation into the fire, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office arrested Steve Carter, 54, a resident on Copley Drive, in connection with the fire. Carter was burning yard debris when the fire got away from him and grew out of control. High winds and dry conditions also were a factor.

Carter was booked into the Coconino County Detention Facility for three counts of Felony Endangerment, one count Misdemeanor Reckless Burning, and one count of Felony Criminal Damage.

The evacuation was lifted at approximately 8:00 p.m. and residents were allowed to return to their homes. Fire and Sheriff units stayed in the area throughout the night. One residential structure and multiple outbuildings burned along with eighty six acres.

In addition to the previously listed agencies assisting, the Sheriff’s office would like to thank additional resources that assisted:  Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Coconino Emergency Management, Coconino Public Works, AZ Game and Fish, and, the residents of Winona for their part in working to reduce the fire threat.

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  1. CCSO Winona Fire Update says:

    It was a neighbor’s home that burned. The investigation is still ongoing, and investigators are still gathering information about various buildings / property owners that may have been affected.

  2. Les Gehley says:

    Tell me why this man was charged like a murderer? I’m guessing he was white middle class?

  3. Bob says:

    you must be kidding THAT HE WAS BOOKED INTO COUNTY JAIL !!!!

  4. Eric Leon says:

    This is why people pay for insurance. The state is out of control. The police are out of control. He’s burning trash and wind comes up and he’s in jail. When did an accident become a felony? This is wrong. Stand up people.

  5. Tom Davidson says:

    Agree @all this man is innocent of crime, this is the result of a private prison state. CCSO this is overreach. Your family members might have done this, you might have done this, we might have done this. You have not done justice right.

  6. M Allen says:

    Would you be saying the same things if it was your house that burned down?
    What if someone was hurt or killed? It seems apparent to most that wildfires are the most common, preventable human caused disasters. He is alleged to have started a fire which endangered the lives of his neighbors. How is that not felony endangerment.

  7. Eric Leon says:

    Other examples to consider these points are SFD setting it’s won fire house on fire? How about the prescribed burns set by forest services that got out of control and burned thousands of acres and buildings ? Need I go on?

  8. Safety Sheep says:

    It is not felony endangerment if it was unintentional and an accident. If he intended to burn his neighbors house down ,charge and arrest him. It is very easy to have a fire get out of control. Let those who have never made a mistake cast the first stone.

    Some of you have to leave your electronic devices and do something real someday so you can feel what a mistake feels like.

  9. Richard Lawrence says:

    Good discussion. I can see both points. Burning is an activity that may be regulated by local, city, county, state, or even federal jurisdictions. Did the individual have a permit? Did he follow proper precautions (dictated by the permit)? Did he follow guidelines or even due diligence. If I am driving my car down the street and strike a person or property, even if it is an accident, I may be liable. If that person dies, then unfortunate as it may be, I am potentially accountable for a manslaughter charge, depending on the circumstances. We don’t know all the circumstances documented in the investigation. Most of us don’t even know the local laws or guidelines associated with burning in this community. Ignorance of the law does not exempt us from the law’s reach. I am not making a judgement one way or the other, just positing these other factors for your consideration.

  10. Dick says:

    Can you see the absurdity of this arrest ? The man was shackled and was taken to JAIL. A homeless guy burns several homes down in a town and isn’t arrested because people feel sorry for their homeless. An suspected illegal from Mexico sets Oak Creek Canyon on fire and no attempt to arrest is made. As aggregious as these are the Winona homeowner burning trash is hauled off like a murderer or criminal? The next time you light your grill and it gets away from you may get 5 years in prison? A felony that won’t let him vote etc. This country has become whacked in the last decades. What charges were brought against the fireman in Sedona? None and that is right. An accident happens. Every day and all the time. You can’t legislate it away. Every person has had one. I support our blue boys and girls and courts but this is wrong. Judges throw it out without cause !

  11. Baby Girl says:

    They took him to jail? How how how wrong. Was he a flight risk to where? OMG I’m getting scared to live in the US because we’re like Russia. WTF people !!!!!!!

  12. Another Opinion says:

    Accidents do happen, of course. But how about when a person, or a group of people, deliberately set out to endanger lives of virtually millions by aiding and abetting dangerous conditions? Isn’t that exactly what’s going on in Sedona?

    Lust, power, and greed represent dominant control. Why is that any less a crime than the fellow who unthinkingly caused the above unfortunate story? It’s nothing compared to the travesty that occurs in Sedona on a daily basis. Why not shackle city council members, irresponsible city staff who willingly support this ongoing death trap, and especially the special interest chamber of commerce and their cohorts, Sedona lodging council? Why are they not locked up and prevented from potential demise of millions should a flood or wild fire occur?

    They remain blindsided to the fact we are sitting in the midst of a disaster waiting to happen. Trapped like rats will be the outcome. Maybe the best we can hope for is they, too, will become victims of their own reckless actions.

  13. Justin Bennett says:

    A welder burned Barranca in VOC and was he jailed? No it was an accident. deserts shouldn’t have homes on it to begin with but we build where we shouldnt and must suffer consequences when s*** happens. Next time you hike and get disoriented needing a rescue go ahead and die otherwise you might be jailed for calling 911 to request help or slapped with fines and charged with a crime.

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