California teen throws flaming tennis ball, ignites fire and explosions


The photo shows the point of origin of fire in the
middle right of view. (Photo courtesy: Contra Costa Fire Protection District)

MARTINEZ, Calif (NewsNation Now) — A group of teenagers playing with a burning tennis ball ignited a fire that destroyed a Martinez, California home and serval vehicles Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

The Contra Costa Fire Protection District said three teenage boys dug a fire pit in the backyard of a home on Author Road, started a fire, lit a tennis ball on fire, and proceeded to play stickball with it. One of the boys hit the burning ball into some dry bush, sparking a fire.

The neighboring home, along with a storage yard containing several vehicles were destroyed.

Officials said explosive noises heard during the fire came from vehicles and propane tanks catching fire.

Firefighters managed to keep the flames from spreading to other nearby homes. Fireworks were not involved in the fire, the district said.

Due to the fire being an accident and the teens having no prior criminal histories, they were released to the custody of their parents, the fire district said.

The case will be forwarded to the Contra Costa County Juvenile District Attorney and the Youth Fire Setter program.

NewsNation affiliate KRON contributed to this report

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