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Tamaqua man charged for setting bonfire in yard

Published May 21. 2019 08:15AM

Christian Christopher Shilko, 49, of Tamaqua, was charged with dangerous burning and disorderly conduct after an incident that happened on May 8.

Police were sent to Bowe Street after a large bonfire was reported. The bonfire was at the rear of a residence at the 200 block of Hunter Street.

Shilko was not present at the time but Matt Marchalk was in the back of the house. The fire was in a large ring of bricks and was about 6 to 8 feet high. It was in close proximity to the house, within about 10 feet, and there was no water source nearby to put the fire out.

Marchalk said Shilko started the fire and told him to watch it as he left to go elsewhere.

A witness stated that the fire was as high and larger than the back porch roof.

Shilko told police he thought it was OK to start the fire because there was no burn ban. When police said the fire was too large and there was no water or extinguishers, Shilko said he told Marchalk what to do and the hose was around the side of the house.

Police said Shilko did not have a permit and the fire was burning well after sunset.

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