Brushfire started by youth playing with lighter

Thursday, June 26, 2008
The brushfire caught this debris pile on fire.

A 12-year-old boy playing with a lighter started a small brushfire that began near a house at 490 S. 18th East Street early Thursday afternoon. The fire was fanned by the wind and quickly grew into a fire of several acres.

The fire burned through a slash pile of wood and other debris in a ravine behind the house, catching the pile on fire, which resulted in a some significant flame and smoke in a localized area.

Despite the fact that some members of the volunteer fire department had difficulty crossing American Legion Boulevard to get the blaze, fire crews were able to quickly contain the brushfire and keep it from spreading any further.

"By policy, with something like this, we usually let the parents take care of it the first time, and I think I can guarantee the parents of this young man will," Fire Chief Phil Gridley said after talking to the boy's mother.

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