Highland News Leader

Man who police say torched girlfriend’s stuff charged with illegal burning

A Highland man is facing a city ordinance violation for allegedly burning his girlfriend’s belongings.

Highland police allege that 41-year-old Steven L. Wiedle — stoked by an ongoing argument — lit a large bonfire in his backyard and used his girlfriend’s personal possessions, which he collected from inside his house, as the fuel.

The fire, near Cypress and 21st streets, was “large and uncontrolled” with a base of about 4 feet in diameter when police arrived, according to the police report.

Police said, among the items in the fire, were several aerosol cans, which ultimately exploded in the flames, prompting 911 calls to both the police and fire departments around 8:40 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18.

Police said the fire was not in an approved fire pit and they ended up issuing Wiedle a nuisance ordinance citation alleging illegal burning. Ordinances violations are punishable by a maximum fine of $750, if convicted.