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SIMI VALLEY | East Ventura County Focus

Teen Runaway Held in Brush Fire

May 14, 1997|VERONIQUE de TURENNE

A 16-year-old runaway who was using a piece of glass to focus sunlight on dry underbrush Tuesday morning apparently started a brush fire that burned about an eighth of an acre in an unincorporated county area near Simi Valley, sheriff's deputies said.

The youth, who authorities did not identify because of his age, was found huddled in the bushes near the fire at 7199 Santa Susana Pass Road, Detective Jeff Allaire said.

"Deputies were looking for possible causes of the fire, and for witnesses, when they found the [youth] hiding in the bushes," Allaire said. "He said he did it and said he used a piece of glass, the way you would use a magnifying glass."

It appears that the youth did not expect to start a large fire and was surprised when the fire got out of control, Allaire said.

The youth, who was reported as a Simi Valley runaway, is being held at Juvenile Hall in Ventura on suspicion of arson. He has denied knowledge of other arson fires in the area, Allaire said.

There were no structures damaged or injuries as a result of the fire.

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