Cold Springs arson suspects gave clueless-sounding interview about the fire they allegedly started

The two campers from Alabama who are suspected of igniting the Cold Springs Fire gave a clueless-sounding video interview about the fire just one day before their arrest.

Jimmy Suggs, 28, and Zackary Kuykendall, 26, were arrested Sunday afternoon at the Nederland High School evacuation site in connection with starting the fire, which now exceeds 600 acres. The fire has forced the evacuation of more than 2,000 people.

But Suggs and Kuykendall, who now face charges of fourth-degree arson, were apparently unaware that they were responsible.

On Saturday, they — along with friend Elizabeth Burdeshaw, 20, who has not been charged — agreed to a video interview with Daily Camera reporter Karen Antonacci. who was soliciting witness accounts of the fire.

“Oh yeah, we seen around where it started,” said Burdeshaw in the video. She and Suggs then said simultaneously, “We were pretty close.”

Said Suggs, “It was crazy. We’d never seen anything like it.” He also called the fire “The scariest thing I’ve ever seen.” The trio admitted to being out on the mountain the night before, saying they were “camping out and stuff” before police told them to head to the evacuation site.

Antonacci didn’t realize who she was talking to until the next day, when Daily Camera city editor Matt Sebastian tweeted about the connection.

“Well shit,” Antonacci tweeted Sunday, when she realized her story from the previous day contained quotes from the suspects.

The charge of fourth-degree arson is a class 4 felony when human lives are endangered, as in this case. The pair is expected in court Monday.

See Antonacci’s full interview below. Note the kittens.

Photo credit: Karen Antonacci

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.


  1. Transients? No. Try felons. Both men had unpaid arrest fines. One had an active warrant from Alabama for a crime and was actively violating his parole for rape. They illegally camped on private property, started a fire, then placed rocks on it (not dirt, not water–rocks!) to extinguish it.

Comments are closed.