Feb 29, 2024

Officials say fireworks were the cause of the fire at Lake Maloney

Posted Feb 29, 2024 12:40 AM

Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

At 6PM on the 26 of February North Platte dispatch received a report of a fire near the damn at Lake Maloney and on South Buffalo. Dispatch also received several reports of a blue 4 door sedan driving in the area moments after the fires started. One caller reported that she had a recording of the vehicle on her dash cam. It was also reported that it was north bound on Buffalo and was last seen at the rec. center.

A deputy made contact with the three, young male occupants of a blue Chevrolet Impala at the rec center. Two other deputies met with the fire department at the east end of the dam. Fire Chief Thompson had located numerous fireworks as well as an artillery shell tube that was on the roadway. A witness reported that he had seen the blue car in the area and describe the three occupants as school aged males. Another witness reported hearing a loud bang just before the fires started.

The footage from the dash cam was retrieved and it too showed the blue Impala. Another witness who followed the blue Impala recognized it and knew the owner. A deputy interviewed three suspects. They all admitted to being in the blue Impala when the fireworks were lit that lit the grass fire but all three blamed the actual discharge of the fireworks on each other. One suspect was 18-year-old Brenttyn Bo, a 15-year-old male and a 16-year-old male. All three received a citation for Arson, 3rd degree and Criminal Mischief.

There were two other large fires in the area, the same day. One was the Betty’s Way fire that burned more than 70,000 acres and the other fire was near Stapleton. The four fires source of ignition have nothing in common. The Betty’s Way fire was ignited by a spark from a lawn mower and the Stapelton fire was ignited by a smoldering manure pile.