Friday, July 16, 2010

Brush fire started by Molotov cocktail

Police have no suspects in investigation

Express Staff Writer

Police say they have no suspects in a small brush fire that occurred south of Ketchum early Tuesday morning, but say the fire was started by "an impromptu Molotov cocktail."

The fire was in the grass on the east side of state Highway 75, just south of the bridge near St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center. The Blaine County Sheriff's Department and the Ketchum Fire Department were simultaneously paged out at 3:18 a.m.

Sheriff's Lt. Jay Davis said police believe the fire was started by a Molotov cocktail, an incendiary device consisting of a bottle filled with gasoline and a piece of rag that serves as a wick, because an unbroken bottle containing gasoline was found at the scene. A police report states that the bottle was apparently tossed from a northbound vehicle.

"Someone had thrown out a bottle containing a bluish fluid in it which smelled like gasoline," Davis said. "The bottle bounced off the pavement and stayed intact and landed by the grass, and the cloth fuse that was in the neck of the bottle ignited the grass, which self-extinguished as the fire department arrived."

Davis said the incident is under investigation. Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact the sheriff's office at 788-5555.

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