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Man arrested in connection with motel fire

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A Roswell motel was evacuated early Thursday after a man allegedly started a fire in his room.

Aasin I. Aguirre (Submitted Photo)

No one was injured in the blaze at the 3300 block of North Main Street hotel which the Roswell Fire Department responded to at about 2 a.m., Todd Wildermuth, public information officer with the RFD, said Thursday afternoon.

He added that the fire was limited to one room. The bed and the room were damaged by fire and smoke. According to documents filed in Chaves County Magistrate Court, the motel’s property manager estimates the fire resulted in $5,000 in damage.

The occupant of the room, 25-year-old Aasin I. Aguirre of Artesia, now faces charges of arson and negligent arson, over $2,500 but not more than $20,000; and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

Roswell police officers and fire crews were called to the motel after a front desk clerk observed room 106 to be on fire.

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“The employee stated that he ran back to the front desk to get a fire extinguisher and when he went back, he observed the occupant of room 106 leaving, at which point the room was completely black, and he started to evacuate everyone,” court documents state.

After police arrived, the employee directed police to the room’s occupant, who was standing outside at the time and was later identified as Aguirre.

Police approached Aguirre. Court records state that when questioned by an officer, Aguirre allegedly admitted to setting the fire using a lighter and some T-shirts he owned.

Aguirre, according to court documents, told the officer he had earlier used crystal methamphetamine inside a convenience store bathroom. The police placed Aguirre in handcuffs, at which time he attempted to flee on foot. He was then grabbed by nearby RPD officers and Chaves County deputies and thrown to the ground.

The suspect was subsequently placed in the backseat of an RPD vehicle and taken to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center to be examined for injuries.

Judge K.C. Rogers of Chaves County Magistrate Court set Aguirre’s bond at $10,000 cash or surety during a first appearance Thursday.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.