Reno, NV – Last year a disturbing case in which a Reno man, Matthew Kimmens, deliberately set multiple fires at a house located off Mt. Rose Highway. As a result of a domestic dispute, Kimmens has been found guilty on five counts of arson. The fire eventually resulted in the destruction of the house located off Joy Lake Road, leading to a tragic incident.
According to the Washoe County district attorney’s office, the incident occurred on August 14, 2022, when Kimmens and his girlfriend became embroiled in a heated argument. Following their dispute, Kimmens’s girlfriend left their apartment, prompting a series of calls and text messages from Kimmens, who was eager to know her whereabouts. In a desperate bid to protect her privacy, she provided false information, informing Kimmens that she was staying at her father’s house located off Joy Lake Road in south Reno.
In a disturbing conversation, Kimmens chillingly remarked, “they better have marshmallows.” Soon after this exchange, two fires were intentionally set on Joy Lake Road within a span of only 10 minutes. One of the fires completely destroyed the home of the girlfriend’s father, while the other was located about three-quarters of a mile up the road.
A vigilant witness recounted her jog in the vicinity, where she spotted Kimmens standing next to the area of the second fire’s origin, with smoke billowing around. Attempting to extinguish the fire with her water bottle, she rushed back to her home to retrieve a bucket. However, upon her return, Kimmens had vanished, and the fire had escalated into a full-blown inferno. The intensity of the fires required the deployment of two helicopters, four airplanes, and over a dozen fire engines to combat the flames.
“We are exceptionally pleased with the outcome of all five guilty verdicts on arson-related charges in what was a complex case,” stated Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Dale Way, who led the fire investigation. He continued, “We want to thank the hard work of all our partner agencies who helped to ensure justice was brought to our community, particularly our community members who suffered physical and emotional hardships resulting from the Joy Lake Fires. Chiefly, we appreciate the hard work, cooperation, and collaboration from Chief Deputy District Attorney Matt Lee and Washoe County Sheriff Detective Todd Williams Jr. to see this arson case to a successful conclusion.”
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