Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 2021 SL770
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
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Iowa War Games
Bottle-rocket war starts fire in Drake-owned house
A house owned by Drake University has sustained some $50,000 damage in a bottle rocket war.
Four young men have been charged with reckless use of fire, a serious misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.
"They were playing around with fireworks like a lot of the rest of us have done at one time or another," said Des Moines Police Detective Jack Kamerick. "They are all good kids. But if you're going to have a bottle rocket war it would be a lot better to do it outside. It would still be illegal but at least you wouldn't burn up a house."
The charges were filed against Bogan Radu Budea, 22; Ryan Farnham, 18; Sankesh Prabhakar, 18; and Jonathan R. Kretman, 18. A fifth suspect was mysteriously released and left the scene in his Mercedes.
Only Budea listed 3103 Forest Ave., as his address. That's the address of the house that was damaged in the fire on Saturday night. There were no injuries.
Detective Kamerick said he interviewed the four men Tuesday.
"It all started as they were getting ready to go to a party," he said. "They came across a box of fireworks that belonged to a friend who hadn't been over to pick them up. Apparently the temptation was too great and there was a little bottle rocket war. And then they left the house."
Later another resident of the house came home with a friend and saw the smoke and the bottle rockets but didn't realize a fire was starting in a couch. They went upstairs.
After awhile they realized the smoke was getting worse and by the time they went to investigate the fire was burning out of control.
Brian O'Keefe, fire department spokesman, said they left the house without injury. But by then the smoldering fire had become a full-blown blaze.
"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon