PHOENIX — Three teenagers were taken into custody Tuesday afternoon after setting off fireworks that started a 2nd alarm brush fire in North Phoenix.
The teens, all 16-years-old, were questioned on scene by police. The teens admitted to lighting the fireworks which led to the fire near 63rd Avenue and Happy Valley Road, said Phoenix Fire Captain Rob McDade.
Firefighters say they were able to put the fire out before it extended to a neighborhood nearby.
“The first thing I thought was oh my God is that my house? Is it my dog? What’s going on?" said Jordan Sims, who lives nearby. "It puts you kind of in like a panic mode, like am I going to have to pick everything up and get out of here within the next 30 minutes? We probably would not have been prepared for that.”
According to Arizona law, it is illegal to set of fireworks this time of the year. The use of permissible consumer fireworks is allowed June 24 – July 6 and December 24 – January 3.
“It’s illegal to set them off, it’s illegal to start a fire. They did copped to it, they did admit to it pretty early so I think right now we are working with their parents and the fire investigators trying to figure out what really should be done out here," said McDade.
“I'm sure the thrill of lighting off fireworks sounds pretty good - but you have to understand- I mean even at the age of 16, this is a high brush season. All everything wants to do is catch on fire right now.”
Authorities are still trying to determine if the teens will face criminal charges. After being questioned by police, the teens were sent home with their parents.
Officials say two state land firefighters, who were part of a team assisting crews, suffered minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital as a precaution.