16-year-old arrested after setting off fireworks from Contra Costa County apartment balcony

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District announced Thursday the arrest of a 16-year-old boy earlier this week in the Tara Hills neighborhood after he allegedly set off a firework from an apartment balcony and sparked a fire.

The fire happened Tuesday at an apartment balcony in the 15000 block of Crestwood Drive, where crews responded to a report of a residential apartment deck on fire after an explosion.

The flames were contained to the balcony area by a fire sprinkler, but caused extensive smoke and water damage to the apartment unit, fire district officials said.

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Investigators determined the 16-year-old boy, whose name isn't being released because he is a juvenile, set off a 5-inch mortar type of firework from a second-floor balcony and arrested him. He was later released to his parents' custody and similar fireworks were removed from the apartment, according to the fire district.

The district is reminding people that fireworks are illegal in Contra Costa County. Anyone aware of fire-related criminal activity in the county is asked to call a tip line at (866) 50-ARSON.