Teens' sparkler starts fire at home

damage of $225,000 sustained

July 01, 2002|By Stephen Kiehl | Stephen Kiehl,SUN STAFF

A house in Harford County was badly damaged by fire Saturday after four teen-agers threw a ground-based sparkler from their car into shrubbery near the home, officials said. No one was injured.

The home in the 2900 block of Craigston Lane in Abingdon was quickly engulfed and sustained damages estimated at $225,000, said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Bob Thomas. The blaze was brought under control in 30 minutes by 50 firefighters from Abingdon and Bel Air.

The teens said they were parked at the side of the road and intended to set off the sparkler, which emits a shower of sparks, on the front lawn. They accidentally ignited the device in their car and became concerned it could set fire to the vehicle, Thomas said.

"One of them threw it out the car window and it landed in shrubbery adjacent to the home and it immediately ignited the shrubs and the fire quickly spread from there," he said.

Homeowner Thomas Ozarowski and his family were on vacation, and no one was in the home, Thomas said. The house sustained extensive fire, smoke and water damage and is uninhabitable, he said.

The two boys, ages 17 and 15, and two girls, ages 17 and 15, involved are from the Abingdon and Bel Air areas and are friends of one of the Ozarowski children, Thomas said. The four acknowledged their involvement to a deputy fire marshal at the scene, he said, and were released to their parents Saturday. Thomas said they will be referred to the state Department of Juvenile Justice. It was unclear yesterday if they would face charges.

"We're hopeful that people understand ... they still have to use some good common sense and discretion when using ground-based sparklers," Thomas said.

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