Man charged with arson in connection with Pearce Estate Park fire
After allegedly admitting to starting a fire in Pearce Estate Park in Calgary's southeast on Monday, a man now faces a charge of arson.
The fire was ignited in the grass and brush between Harvie Passage and the Bow Habitat Station and Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery around 6 p.m.
As firefighters worked quickly to contain the blaze, police blocked off the area and evacuated the park.
Police say officers were approached by a man and that he confessed the ordeal was his doing.
"The man told police he collected white fluffy debris that had fallen off nearby trees, placed it in a pile on the ground and subsequently lit it on fire," police said Tuesday in a release to media.
Danny Manuel Deringer, 33, was charged with arson and is scheduled to appear in court Friday.
The fire ended up covering more than one hectare.
It burned toward the Bow River and there were no reports of injuries or any property being damaged.
"At first, we thought it might have been a campfire that was gone awry but at the same time, like, the fire never really seemed wild, per se," said one bystander.
"You can see that it was the cotton fluff that was burning. And you can actually see it sizzling along the edges of the pathway and all that but there was never a moment where I was genuinely concerned other than for my asthma."
Firefighters remained on the scene for some time monitoring for hot spots.