13-year-olds start New Tampa brush fire | News
Tampa, Florida- A pair of thirteen-year-olds playing with matches took responsibility Thursday evening for accidently starting a 4-acre brush fire that grew dangerously close to homes in the Ashington Estates subdivision of Tampa Palms.
The teens were questioned by fire investigators on scene, but will not be charged with a crime because they immediately reported the fire and there was no damage to surrounding homes.
Around 6:30 p.m., one of the teens called 911 for help after trying to put the fire out himself with water in a bucket.
Emergency crews arrived to find a quickly spreading fire and immediately began pumping water onto the flames and even surrounding homes potentially at risk for burning.
"During this time of the year, we have dry conditions and fire can spread very quickly," said Capt. Lonnie Benniefield of Tampa Fire Rescue.
Ali Khan, one of the two teens who started the fire apologized for all the trouble and told 10 News he continued trying to put the flames out himself until the fire got too hot.
"I learned never play with matches... Kids never play with matches... ever!" proclaimed Khan.
A portion of Emerald Chase Drive remained close to traffic as firefighters continued fighting the fire for close to an hour.
Because the road was closed, some residents had trouble getting to their homes.
I'll take disruptive over destructive," said Manish Parekh who lives directly across from where the fire started. He says he's grateful fire crews arrived so quickly.
"They protected the scene, they protected the people, so it's okay. I'll handle the disruption."
Units from Tampa Fire, Hillsborough, Lutz, and Pasco County all assisted in fighting the fire.
There were no injuries or property damage reported, although smoke is expected in the area for several days.