CASA GRANDE — A burning house near Casa Grande Sunday ignited ammunition and caused explosions that ignited a brush fire, authorities said.

About 2 p.m. Regional Fire & Rescue responded to a structure fire at 19049 W. Hopi Drive. The fire ignited ammunition and possibly some gunpowder, which caused the fire to spread to nearby brush, according to Regional Fire & Rescue Chief Steven Kerber.

After the fire spread, Casa Grande Fire Department responded with assistance.

There were no injuries.

No one was home at the time of the blaze and the house was a total loss, Kerber said.

A dog from the home was rescued by neighbors.

The cause of the house fire is under investigation.

Bicyclist struck on Florence Boulevard

CASA GRANDE — A 24-year-old woman suffered multiple injuries when she was struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle in Casa Grande Sunday evening, authorities said.

The incident happened at about 6:15 p.m. at 1385 E. Florence Blvd., according to Casa Grande Police at the scene. Florence Boulevard was closed between Colorado Street and Pottebaum Avenue to land a medical helicopter.

The woman was flown to Chandler Regional Medical Center.

No one else was injured, and the driver remained at the scene. The incident is under investigation.

Kidnapping, child sex charges filed

CASA GRANDE — A Casa Grande man is in custody after being arrested for kidnapping and sexual offenses against a minor.

On June 15, authorities received a call regarding reported sexual episodes between a man and an underage girl. The girl reported that she was forced to have sex with the man earlier this month on more than one occasion.

The Casa Grande Police Department arrested John Freddie Alkire, who was booked into the Pinal County jail and is being held on $50,000 secured bond.

Alkire, 21, has been charged with five counts, including kidnapping, molestation of a child and three counts of sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15. All charges are class 2 felonies, and four of the five are designated as dangerous crimes against children.

The girl had written about the alleged incidents in her journal, which she provided to police. In the journal, she wrote about the fear of possibly being pregnant.

In a recorded interview with police, Alkire “vehemently denied” having any type of sexual contact with the girl.

CGPD investigating gunshot Sunday

CASA GRANDE — Police and paramedics responded to West McMurray Boulevard shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday when a caller reported a person with a gunshot wound.

When Casa Grande Police arrived, no victim or suspect was located. But investigators did find a fired shell casing in the street at West McMurray Boulevard and French Street.

The investigation into the gunshot is continuing.

— Brian Wright, Staff Writer

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