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Teens detained after river fire

Two teenagers held in connection with five-acre blaze near Santa Clara River

Posted: June 26, 2009 9:54 p.m.
Updated: June 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Fire crews used shovels and chain saws to fight the blaze. Two teenagers were seen running from the blaze and were questioned by sheriff's deputies.

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Three juveniles were detained Friday for questioning in connection with a five-acre blaze in Valencia.

“They were seen running from the location,” said Sgt. Dan Peacock of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

By Friday evening, sheriff’s deputies were unsure whether the fire was accidental or arson, Peacock said.

The blaze started at 5:01 p.m. in the Santa Clara River bed near Bridgeport Lane and McBean Parkway in Valencia, said Los Angeles County Fire Supervisor Clyde Taylor. The fire was contained to the wash but spread to consume five acres, bringing in water-dropping helicopters, she said.

Flames crept up to the edge of a bike path near Bridgeport, spewing acrid smoke into the upscale neighborhood. Residents came out to watch firefighters spray the blaze.

Sheriff’s deputies had placed two teenage boys in the back of a patrol car after a witness said she saw them running from where the fire began.

“I saw them jump over the fence (out of the wash and toward Bridgeport) and run,” said the witness, who identified herself only as Caroline. ”Right where I saw them jump over the fence, I saw the flames jump up,” she said.

The woman followed the boys, stopped them and called the police. One ran away before sheriff’s deputies arrived, she said.

Firefighters were able to knock down the fire at 5:32 p.m.

No homes were damaged and no evacuations were issued, Taylor said.



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