TEEN ARRESTED FOR ROLLING HILLS ROAD FIRE

Photo credits: Mike Henneke

July 24, 2021 4:40 p.m. 

Three juveniles have been identified and one has been arrested in connection with Friday night’s Rolling Hills Road Fire in Green.

Sergeant Brad O’Dell of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said at approximately 4:35 p.m. dispatchers received multiple reports of a fast-moving grass fire in the 900 block of Rolling Hills Road. Multiple agencies responded to the blaze.

O’Dell said investigators began working to determine the cause of the fire. The teens were identified as having been in the area immediately prior to the fire starting. They were contacted by detectives and interviewed about the incident.

O’Dell said the teens were determined to have been walking in the area while one of them, a 13-year old Roseburg teen, was playing with a lighter. The teen had allegedly pulled a clump of dead and dry grass from the ground and lit it on fire. O’Dell said it became too hot, causing the teen to drop it to the ground, igniting what became a 20- acre fire. That blaze destroyed 2 homes, multiple outbuildings and 4 vehicles. O’Dell said the teens attempted to extinguish the fire and stop its spread, but were unable to do so. At least one of the juveniles went to a nearby residence and alerted the homeowner who called 911.

O’Dell said the teens and their guardians are cooperating with law enforcement. The 13-year old was charged with reckless burning.

Detectives are asking homeowners in the area to their review their security camera footage, which could assist in the investigation. O’Dell said detectives are particularly interested in any footage with may show the teens walking to or from the field where the fire began, as well as any footage which may have captured the start of the fire.

Footage that could help with the investigation can be downloaded directly: https://douglassheriffor.evidence.com/axon/citizen/public/rollinghillsfire

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