911 calls released around start of Cleator fire

Posted at 10:03 PM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 01:30:23-04

Calls to emergency dispatchers are shedding more light on the investigation into the cause of the Cleator fire.

Yesterday, ABC15 reported that a Phoenix police officer was under investigation for sparking the fire. Sources tell us he has been cited by fire officials.

A Freedom of Information Act request has led to the release of five 911 calls made in the immediate aftermath of the fire's ignition.

"I just called in regarding a fire a mile from here." said one caller, who phoned in from the Cleator bar. The people there saw the plumb of smoke, and something else.

"We found some four wheelers that came running past us and wouldn't slow down," said the caller. "They almost hit me when they were coming up the hill." 

Multiple sources say at least one person in that group was Officer Tom Sario of the Phoenix Police Department. We are told he was with family, firing tracer rounds in the mountains.

"They came from the river part and they would not slow down when we asked them to slow down.They acted like they wanted to get out of here. We have some license plates of four units that were down there and we understand there were people shooting down there," said the caller.

It is unclear from the calls we received if Officer Sario called 911. The nine-year veteran has been moved to a non-enforcement position pending the results of an internal investigation.