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September 24, 2003
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Investigators trying to pinpoint what caused Voltaire fire

A team of investigators was trying to determine Tuesday what started a fire that engulfed 35 acres in Voltaire Canyon on Monday afternoon.

According to Carson City Fire Department Battalion Chief Stacy Giomi, investigators from the fire department have teamed up with the Nevada Division of Forestry, which owns the land west of Curry Street behind Casino Fandango.

"We are just trying to pin down the specifics," Giomi said.

Investigators were able to determine the point of origin, but have yet to pinpoint exactly how the hillside ignited at about 4 p.m.

Damon Smith, 35, of Carson City told police he was four-wheeling in his Mazda pickup truck when the truck backfired, starting the blaze. He said he attempted to put the fire out with ice tea before descending the hill in the burning truck for help, Sgt. Mike Cullen of the Carson City Sheriff's Department said.

The charred remains of the truck were impounded by deputies to be looked at by fire investigators, Giomi said.

Smith has two warrants out of Lyon County -- a misdemeanor restraining order violation and a failure to appear warrant.

He is being held in the Carson City Jail.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Sep 24, 2003 12:00AM Published Sep 24, 2003 02:33AM Copyright 2003 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.