Report: Deadly Reno Fire Likely Accidental

April 30, 2012

Reno investigators say a deadly blaze in January that burned 3,100 acres and killed an elderly woman was caused by improper disposal of fireplaces ashes and was most likely accidental.

The Reno-Gazette-Journal reported 58-year-old Lyle Teuscher told investigators he had disposed of the ashes in a metal trailer outside his Washoe Drive home about four days before the fire.

He thought the ashes were cool and could not ignite.

Property damage from the blaze that destroyed 29 homes was estimated at $4.5 million.

The report was released Wednesday by the Reno Fire Department and forwarded last week to the Washoe County district attorney’s office to determine if charges are warranted.

Ninety-three-year-old June Hargis lived in a studio apartment near where the blaze broke out and died of smoke inhalation.

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