Kids playing with matches spark fire near Westminster homes

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Two juveniles were detained after allegedly starting a field fire that scorched more than 1 1/2 acres and threatened nearby homes on Sunday, the Westminster Police Department said.

Gusty wind and dry conditions quickly turned a small fire into a fast-moving and dangerous emergency in the area north of Cobblestone Park near 82nd Place and Clay Street, the Westminster Fire Department said.

Crews were on scene within three minutes of receiving the call and were able to stop the blaze before the wind could push it farther into a residential area.

Homeowners were evacuated as a precaution until the fire was under control.

The two juveniles admitted to playing with matches that they had found, and were referred to the Westminster Fire Department Youth Fire-Setter program for evaluation and counseling.

No charges are being filed at this time.

The National Fire Protection Association said there are 80 deaths, 860 injuries and $235 million in direct property damage attributed to playing with fire every year.