A new report released by the District Attorney's Office says there is not enough evidence to press charges on Lyle Teuscher, a Washoe Valley resident, in the case of the Washoe Drive Fire in January of 2012.
District Attorney Dick Gammick said the actions by Teuscher were not criminal and that Teuscher took several steps to ensure the ashes would not cause any harm. Gammick went on to say that the Reno Fire Department failed to provide sufficient evidence against Teuscher, saying they failed to interview neighbors and identify his burning habits. Gammick says the ashes were from several days prior to the Washoe Drive Fire and that Teuscher checked them to make sure they were cold. He says Teuscher had no way of knowing that there would be high winds and took all the required steps to ensure the safe discard of the ashes.
Gammick says due to the lack of evidence and not being able to disprove Teuscher's story, the District Attorney's Office will not be pressing charges.
Teuscher admitted that the cause of the January 2012 fire started after he discarded ashes behind his Washoe Valley home.
Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez released this statement:
"The Reno Fire Department's report on the Washoe Drive Fire was comprehensive and conclusive. The report was completed and released in April 2012. Since that time, the Reno Fire Department has not been asked to provide any further information or conduct any further investigation. Our department will always cooperate with any agency and will continue to assist with any follow-up if asked. It is important to remember the fire department's responsibility is to determine the cause and origin of the fire and our investigators did just that. The determination of whether a crime has been committed falls to law enforcement agencies."
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