Man Charged with Negligent Endangerment Following Evergreen Fire

Joseph DeVera allegedly started a fire that burned at least three homes in Evergreen with a cigarette

By Justin Franz
Firefighters respond to a fire in Evergreen on Aug. 5, 2015. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The Flathead County Attorney’s Office has filed charges against the man who allegedly started a 6.5-acre fire that destroyed at least one home and multiple outbuildings in Evergreen in early August.

According to Deputy County Attorney Kenneth Park, Joseph DeVera was charged with misdemeanor negligent endangerment in Flathead County Justice Court on Aug. 31.

Park said investigators determined the fire was started with a dropped cigarette on the afternoon of Aug. 5. DeVera allegedly tried to put the fire out but it soon spread to a home and a handful of outbuildings along Mountain View Drive in Evergreen. At least one person was injured trying to escape the fire, Park said.

The fire resulted in more than $500,000 in damage, according to Park.

Firefighters from across the valley responded to the blaze, which forced the evacuation of numerous homes in the area.

If convicted, DeVera could face a year in jail or a fine of $1,000.

DeVera recently appeared in Flathead County District Court on charges of felony theft. According to court documents, DeVera allegedly stole a 2007 Chevy Impala on Aug. 13. He pleaded not guilty to the charges last week and is expected to go to trial early next year.

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