A 30-year-old Oak Creek man was arrested Monday on suspicion of felony fourth-degree arson related to an Aug. 6 incident near Phippsburg.
According to an affidavit filed with Routt County Court, Michael Calvin Martindale is suspected of starting a fire that caused an explosion within 10 feet of an 18,000-gallon propane storage tank at a remote fill station on Routt County Road 15.
Martindale was released from custody after posting $10,000 bond. Martindale did not want to talk about the case Tuesday and referred questions to his attorney, Kris Hammond.
“When I know more, I may be in a position to talk about it,” Hammond said.
The Routt County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the incident after a Phippsburg resident reported hearing an explosion.
Witnesses were interviewed by the Sheriff’s Office. They told deputies that Martindale climbed over a fence near the tank, picked up what was thought to have been a five-gallon container of liquid methyl alcohol, climbed back over the fence and poured some of the liquid onto the ground, the affidavit states. A witness reported seeing Martindale ignite the liquid on the ground, which ignited the can in his hand, causing an explosion. The fire spread to Martindale’s hand and pants as well as a small area of grass, the affidavit states. The fires were stamped out by the witnesses.
Martindale also was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor criminal trespass and criminal mischief. He is due to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.