Kids suspected of starting fire off N. Mountain Ave.

Ashland police and fire investigators believe three boys accidentally started a small grass fire Tuesday afternoon near North Mountain Avenue — at the same location where a fire broke out last month, said Margueritte Hickman, Ashland Fire & Rescue fire marshal.

Firefighters responded to the fire, between Clear Creek Drive and Russell Street, at 4:49 p.m. and contained it about 15 minutes later, she said. The fire burned about a tenth of an acre of dry grass, near houses and Havurah Shir Hadash.

Investigators believe the boys, who are approximately 10 years old and who live in Ashland, were playing with fire in the area, Hickman said.

Police cited the boys for reckless burning, she said.

The area that burned Tuesday is only a few feet away from the outline of an Aug. 13 grass fire. Hickman said officials have no evidence linking the two fires.

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the Aug. 13 fire. Transients have been known to camp in the area, but there were no reports of anyone being seen at the location prior to the blaze, fire officials said.

On Tuesday firefighters were initially dispatched to Washington Street, because the boy who called 9-1-1 gave an incorrect address, officials said.

"Fortunately we had units on the other side of town who could see the smoke and direct us," said Ashland Fire & Rescue Captain David Shepherd. "Once we got here, we were able to work quickly because we knew all the access points, because of the last fire here."

Hickman said the incident highlights the need for parents to talk to their children about the dangers of playing with fire.

"Kids are curious, but playing with fire is not a way to learn about it, because it can have disastrous results," she said. "Thank goodness this fire didn't result in any injuries or property loss."

Contact reporter Hannah Guzik at 541-482-3456 ext. 226 or

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