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Teens accused of starting brush fire

May 4, 2010

Three Wauwatosa teenagers were arrested for negligent handling of burning materials after they used perfumed body spray and a lighter to start a fire Sunday afternoon.

According to Wauwatosa police:

A 911 call came in reporting a fire at 4:26 p.m., but the caller must not have realized he hadn't hung up because dispatchers overheard people saying they should leave before they got in trouble.

Additional calls were coming in from drivers on Interstate 94 reporting that black smoke rising over the bridge was causing traffic backups.

Wauwatosa firefighters responded to a wooded area in the 11600 block of West Dearbourn Avenue and found 4-foot-tall flames covering a 200-square-foot area shooting out from a pile of tires and brush. The quickly extinguished the fire.

Residents reported seeing several boys running from the area and they were tracked down in the neighborhood. They said one of the boys said he had a track using cologne body spray and a lighter, and took them to the site where the tiles were piled up. After igniting the fire, he threw the entire bottle into the fire and it started to spread.

One of the boys had recorded video of the incident on his cell phone and showed police the evidence.

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