(WKTV) - The man responsible for the Boonville block fire that displaced 29 people will not serve jail time.
David Geer got five years probation and will do 200 hours of community service after his guilty plea for arson. The fire, which happened in March 2013, was caused by a cigarette on a mattress.
The fire started in Geer's unit on the first floor of the Main Street apartment building. Police say Geer failed to notify emergency personnel and removed valuable items from his home either before or during the fire.
"We couldn't prove circumstantially that the fire was intentionally set," said First Assistant District Attorney Michael Coluzza. "We could only prove that the defendant acted carelessly by smoking in an area he shouldn't have been smoking in, then dragging his mattress out of the building."
The building was deemed unsafe to enter after the fire, which meant no cause and origin investigation took place. The district attorney's office would have needed either a confession or a definitive cause to prosecute the case further.