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Firefighter accused of starting Elbert County wildfire

10:16 PM, Feb 5, 2013   |    comments
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ELBERT COUNTY - An Elbert County volunteer firefighter was arrested on suspicion of starting a wildfire that caused the evacuation of the town of Elbert last summer.

Alex J. Averette, 19, is being held at the Elbert County Jail on a $50,000.00 bond. He faces charges of second degree arson, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and second degree criminal trespass.

The Elbert County Sheriff's Office alleges Averette intentionally set the County Road 102 Fire in June of 2012. The fire burned over 300 acres and caused the evacuation of more than 100 people.

Firefighting resources around the state were strained at the time due to other wildfires.

Averette is a volunteer with the Elbert Fire Protection District.

Details on how investigators believe the fire was started weren't immediately released.

Averette's phone number isn't listed, and it's not known if he has a lawyer who can comment on his behalf.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)

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