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Teenager arrested after starting massive 28-acre fire when setting off fireworks with friends

Brais Seara/Getty Images

(EAGLE, Idaho) — A teenager has been arrested after igniting a massive 28-acre fire when he set off fireworks with his friends.


The blaze began on Saturday evening when a 16-year-old boy and his friends were riding in an SUV in Eagle, Idaho — some 10 miles northwest of Boise — when “one of the boys announced he had a mortar-style firework that he wanted to light off,” according to a statement released by the Eagle Police Department on Thursday evening.

“The other boys told him not to, because it might start a fire in the area,” authorities said. But that didn’t stop him. “Initial information indicates the boy lit off the firework a brief time later, when the SUV was parked, which did ignite the brush nearby.”

The boys made attempts to extinguish the fire but were unsuccessful in their attempts before they drove away. Authorities only discovered what was going on when one of the boys present called 911 to report the fire and tell them what had happened.

However, before deputies could meet them, the boy who lit the firework got out of the SUV and ran away, police said in their statement.

“The Hartley fire consumed about 28 acres before Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Eagle, Middleton/Star, and Meridian fire departments and we were able to suppress the fire,” Eagle police said. “Fire crews were sent to the BLM land north of Hartley Road in Eagle around 9 p.m. Saturday. It took until after midnight for the fire crews to contain the blaze. No structures were lost.”

Deputies found the unnamed 16-year-old suspect a short time later by a canal in the area and placed him into custody.

The suspect was subsequently taken to the Ada County Juvenile Detention Center where his case is pending in Ada County Juvenile Court.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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