MONTE VISTA — An Absolute Shine Auto Body and Paint employee was charged with arson in the Monte Vista Fire that destroyed several homes on April 20, according to the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
The DA’s office issued a press release on Monday, Nov. 21, detailing what led to the charge of arson, a class three felony, against Darrius Garcia, 22.
The complaint alleges that Garcia recklessly started a fire endangering property valued between $100,000 and $1,000,000, according to the DA’s Office.
At approximately 12:15 p.m. on April 20, the Monte Vista Police Department, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Rio Grande Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Land Management and the Monte Vista Fire Protection District and more agencies across the San Luis Valley responded to reports of a spreading fire in the area of the 800 block of Acequia Drive in Monte Vista.
The origin of the fire was determined to be a burn pit at Absolute Shine Auto Body and Paint located at 859 Acequia Dr., Monte Vista, according to the DA’s Office.
Garcia’s next court appearance is at 11 a.m. on Dec. 8 in Rio Grande County District Court.
“This is an ongoing investigation, and the Office of the District Attorney recognizes the tremendous work of our first responders in their quick and efficient response to this incident,” the DA’s Office stated.