Officials determine 8-year-old started fire |

Officials determine 8-year-old started fire

RIFLE – A fire that broke out at the Rimrock Apartments in north Rifle Tuesday afternoon has been determined to be unintentionally set by an 8-year-old playing with a lighter.Police Chief Daryl Meisner said Thursday morning that during the investigation, a witness reported seeing a child playing with a lighter. Upon questioning, the child admitted involvement in the fire that destroyed apartment building #1325 at the Rimrock Apartments at 310 W. 30th Street.”The child was igniting twigs near to the couch, which was outside and against the building,” Meisner said. “The burning twigs then ignited the couch, which then spread to the apartment building.”Earlier reports said the fire spread from the couch to the eaves and into the attic of the building. Two of the eight apartments in the building were totally destroyed and six others damaged.”The child attempted to extinguish the fire, but fled when he determined he would be unable to do so,” Meisner said.About 32 people – including three families and some temporary drill workers – were displaced from their homes.The Rifle Fire Department, Glenwood Springs Fire Department, Rifle Police Department and Garfield County Sheriff’s Office responded to the fire, which broke out shortly after 4 p.m. on Tuesday and was contained a little after 5:30 p.m.Since the age of culpability in Colorado is 10 years old, the 8-year-old child cannot be prosecuted. Meisner said civil recourse could be pursued.The owners of the building are B&B Western Investments of Rifle.No damage estimates have been made as of yet. An insurance adjuster was visiting the site on Thursday to assess the damage.

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