State and local authorities in Parachute are investigating a fire at a local business and suspect arson, according to a recent Post Independent article. Several vehicles and building belonging to Resort Trucking, Inc. were destroyed by the fire. No injuries were reported, but damage is estimated to be more than $300,000.
Fire officials received the call in the early morning hours of July 23. Firefighters from a local fire station reported seeing flames a mile away from them as they drove down Battlement Parkway, according to a local fire chief. According to a Parachute police chief, the initial call reported a shed, attached to the main building, was in flames. The shed contained several drums of flammable liquid.
Firefighters working on the shed also noticed that a pickup and several tanker trucks in the lot behind the building were also on fire. One tanker truck smoldered but did not burst into flames, according to the fire chief. Firefighters put out the both the truck and shed fires. Fire investigators from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and CBI crime lab specialists were called to examine the damage and determined that the fire was intentionally set.
Phone calls to the trucking company went unanswered. The business is listed as water-hauling and long-haul trucking services and was formed in 2005. Parachute police are asking anyone with information to call the police department or the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
Whomever the arsonist(s) is in this scenario is facing a Class 4 felony conviction. They may also face other charges depending on their motive for setting the fire. If the fire was started to collect insurance money, it would be third-degree arson, which is also a Class 4 felony. A Colorado criminal defense attorney would advise such a defendant of his rights under the law, as well as how those laws apply to the crime for which he stands charged. The criminal defense attorney would determine the best defense option for this defendant, however, he would make sure the defendant is well prepared in the event the receives the maximum punishment for his crime.