Authorities say man started fire near police station
A Placerville man is accused of starting a negligent fire near the Grass Valley Police Department last month, authorities said.
Jared Timothy Mingle, 40, faces a felony charge of recklessly causing a fire to an inhabited structure, Nevada County Jail reports state.
Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said Mingle was under investigation for possible arson for the Jan. 23 fire, but a close review of available surveillance on South Auburn Street indicates that the fire was likely started for warmth.
“We charged it as a negligent fire,” Walsh explained. “It was recklessly caused, as opposed to intentionally started.”
Walsh said Grass Valley police had apprehended and arrested Mingle shortly before he began a fire in an alcove near the entrance of the police station over two weeks ago.
“Because of that, we very much looked at the act like it was one hell of a coincidence,” Walsh said, “but then we actually had video surveillance.”
Walsh said the officers reported kindling and matches at the scene, and ultimately determined Mingle meant to create a warming fire, albeit in “a dumb place.”
Walsh said the final charge — recklessly causing a fire to an inhabited structure — is still categorized as a felony.
Walsh said the police work closely with Hospitality House and other social service providers in the area, but individuals may not always take advantage of available resources for personal reasons.
“Some individuals do erratic stuff like this,” Walsh said. “I don’t know if this is a mental health issue or a drug issue. “We’re just looking at this conduct, which is obviously not OK.”
Mingle remained jailed Wednesday under $25,000 in bond, reports state.
Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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