Playing with fire

LOS ANGELES – Officials blamed a wildfire that consumed more than 38,000 acres and destroyed 21 homes last week on a boy playing with matches, and said they would ask a prosecutor to consider the case.

The boy admitted to sparking the fire on Oct. 21, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Diane Hecht said Tuesday. Ferocious winds helped it quickly spread.

“He admitted to playing with matches and accidentally starting the fire,” Hecht said in a statement.

Police did not release the boy’s name. Los Angeles County fire Capt. Michael Brown only would say Wednesday that he was younger than 13.

The boy was released to his parents, and the case will be presented to the district attorney’s office, Hecht said. It was not clear if he had been arrested or cited by detectives.

Arson investigators first talked to the boy’s parents on Oct. 22 after determining the blaze began the day before in the back yard of their Agua Dulce home, Brown said.

The home was not damaged in the fire, Brown said.

Investigators initially considered a downed power line as the source of the fire, but never officially listed it as the cause.

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