Marble Falls, Burnet, Kingsland, Llano, Spicewood, Horseshoe Bay, and ALL of the Highland Lakes
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KINGSLAND — The owner of a shed destroyed in an Oct. 17 fire is offering a reward for information in that case, as well as reminding people the town has seen at least 20 suspicious — and dangerous — blazes since June.
"I am offering the reward as I believe that will keep the public’s interest and keep them talking about it," said Joe Burnes about the 9 p.m. blaze at Brown Street off RR 1431. A witness told The Tribune she thought fireworks may have been in the structure, but Burnes said that is not the case.
"The shed contained truck accessory inventory from an old business," Burnes said. "It cost $5,000 to build the shed. The inventory, both in the shed and stored under the tarps outside the shed, was worth approximately $10,000."
The Kingsland Volunteer Fire Department extinguished the fire with no injuries.
A Llano County sheriff’s deputy spotted the blaze, officials said.
Since June more than 20 suspicious fires have plagued the Kingsland area, including one that destroyed the Seton Kingsland Healthcare Center that was under construction. A new clinic is being built.
Burnes said he’s concerned about the rampant fires and the peril they pose for residents.
"The situation is getting worse as the arsonists are showing no concern for human life," he said. "The fire at our location came within 75 feet of my family’s home. Sooner or later, someone’s home will be destroyed if they are not stopped."
An investigation into the blaze is under way by the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Llano County Sheriff’s Office.
Meanwhile, a suspect in one of the earlier fires had his bond reduced during a hearing Oct. 25 in the 424th state District Court.
Deputies arrested Dane Albert Burgess, 17, Oct. 2 in connection with a suspicious fire Aug. 25 in the 100 block of Wood Forrest Drive. In that case, a woodpile was set afire.
Burgess was in the Llano County Jail on a $250,000 bond when Burnes’ shed burned down.
But this week, state District Judge Dan Mills ordered a bond reduction to $50,000 for Burgess, provided his family puts up at least $1,000 in cash as part of the bond. The teen’s attorney is Richard Davis.
Burgess has only been charged in one case, though deputies said they are looking to see if he is connected to any of the other fires.
Anyone with information on the fires is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (325) 247-5767 or the Hill Country Area Crime Stoppers at 1-866-756-TIPS (8477).