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A juvenile playing with matches is being blamed for a fire that destroyed one structure and nearly resulted in a brush fire.
Los Alamos Fire Department crews responded in short order Thursday afternoon to a structure fire in White Rock, dousing the blaze within minutes.
According to Deputy Chief Justin Grider of the LAFD, crews responded to the fire at about 4:30 p.m. and had it under control within four minutes.
The source of the fire was an abandoned 225 square-foot chicken coop located at 140 Monte Rey Dr. South.
The closely-knit neighborhood of houses was surrounded by dry brush and grass and along with the coop, a tree was already on fire when crews arrived.
“It was fully involved when we got here,” Grider said.
“Until the investigator arrives on the scene we won’t know what happened,” he said.
Tom and Yui Shimada, owners of the house, were on the scene.
“It was a very old chicken coop that had nothing in it,” Tom Shimada said.
Later in the evening, Grider said a juvenile had confessed to starting the fire, saying he’d been playing with matches inside the building.
“This serves as a good opportunity for folks to remind their children that matches are not toys,” Grider said.