Two teens charged with building an 'incendiary' bottle that set off brush fire along Fitchburg Line tracks in Concord

Transit Police report arresting a pair of Concord teens on charges they concocted a pair of flash-fire devices, one of which went off near the Sudbury Road crossing on Fitchburg Line yesterday afternoon, starting a brush fire that halted commuter-rail service.

They were made up of a plastic bottle that contained 2 liquid chemicals that can be purchased over the counter. When the chemicals interact with one another, over a period of time, they heat up and cause a flash fire.

Detectives from the Transit and Concord Police investigated the incident jointly. Our collaborative partnership lead to the expeditious identification of two male juveniles ages 14 and 15. Both juveniles are residents of Concord. The juveniles will be summoned into court for Possession of Incendiary Devices and Interfering with Public Transportation. Other minor aspects of the investigation is ongoing.

Based on what we know at no time was the safety of our passengers, residents of Concord or the buildings/residences in harms way.



Free tagging: 


i mean

kids will be kids. the difference between them and most people growing up is that they fucked up enough that it actually caused a brush fire/they got caught

Normal for boys to play with fireworks

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There's a spectrum of dumb, but usually there's no bad intent or personality problems. Kids are just dumb.

If an evaluation doesn't show any abnormal problems, then this is a responsibility teaching moment. They have to learn responsibility, not in a "you are bad, go to jail" way, but in a "you made a mistake, you need to learn how not to make that kind of mistake again, and you need to make it right this time".


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Seriously? Boys?

My mother taught me how to mix household cleaners and make explosions.

Get over your fascination with your genitalia to describe or excuse behavior.

the 'boys' thing

made me laugh, honestly, because my sister was frequently included in our various shenanigans and was no less a guilty party

despite what she'd claim if caught, of course

Do "most people" really build

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Do "most people" really build homemade bombs growing up? I get wanting to see things explode/catch on fire, but I certainly never did anything like this...

Blame the Internet

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Seriously. In my childhood, the neighborhood kids and I did a lot of (in retrospect) stupid and dangerous things. We only made a tennis ball bazooka (fueled with lighter fluid and a match) because someone else showed us one and so we had to build one. Today much stupider and more deadly "pranks" are just a click away.


kids have been accidentally causing brush fires long before the internet. dads gas can for the lawn mower, great source of entertainment.

I remember

On a few occasions the fire department would come find me and my friends in the woods because they saw smoke. We always had things under control and weren’t being terribly stupid, at least, not by the time they managed to find us.

We never got in trouble or hauled out or our parents called. One firefighter that found us simply said if we were going to have fires in the woods to call them ahead of time and let them know (roughly) where we would be doing it so they’d at least be aware of it. Fair enough. This was before kids were walking around with cellphones (we were lucky if we could swipe somebody’s dad’s 2-way radios, or whatever) so its funny to me how different this whole thing would be today.

Another time they came and we were swimming at a pond and cooking up burgers and dogs over a fire, and since they came out to find us, we can assume there was other stuff burning as well. One of the backpacks had a bottle of jack Daniels (barbecue sauce) peaking out of it and the firefighter saw it and was like “heh, you kids. You all be careful now with that jack Daniels but I’m not a cop so its fine by me”

It took me a minute to figure out what he even meant but it always amused me in retrospect. I guess times have changed. Shooting bottle rockets at each other in the woods is now firing explosives and being a total bad ass and stealing like, one beer each out of each kid’s parent’s fridge to sip on means it was a ‘booze fueled rage’ or whatever.

Who knows, but I genuinely feel bad that its less and less likely that kids will be able to go jump off a rope swing, swim in a pond, play with fire, cook some hot dogs, and maybe have a beer. Or if you were unlucky, all that you could steal was your moms wine cooler and got laughed at.

that's nice dear

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This is 2017, not 1950

I live near the woods. We finally got the fires stopped after some little asshole like yourself ended up causing property damage.

It isn't funny or fun or necessary for childhood to destroy things.

Get over your geezer self.


geezer. right.

if your takeaway from that is that we were destroying things, or that i was saying it is necessary as a part of development, perhaps you whippersnappers should learn to fucking read.

want to bet which one of us will qualify for social security first? because at my 30 years old, i'm guessing you'll beat me to that race.

Qualify for Social Security?!?

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Qualify for Social Security? In 30 something years? Don't make me laugh while I'm eating lunch! Even if you won this race, the answer will be "congratulations. Now what is this "social security" of which you speak?"

Don't blame me, Chief. I'm a young Gen Xer who is not expecting to get anything, either, and I have saved accordingly.

Next time

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You should try lighting them before you kick them. Way more impressive.

I did

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We'd throw them in a lake and make some big splashes and loud noises. Summer can be pretty boring as a kid, and anything with a hint of illegality (but mostly harmless) is quite the adrenaline rush for a tween. Then you have peers and girls to impress, when there's nothing impressive about you.

Most grow out of it, or apply the ingenuity to something more proactive.

most ?

sure, most of my friends did. usually doing irresponsible things as a kid teaches you how to be a better person and adult. i doubt there was any malice behind the act. when you were a kid you never did something that you look back on and say, man, i got lucky? well, guess what, that 'luck' is what separates you from these kids.


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My friends and I did many a stupid thing with fire, PVC pipe potato cannons, and the like. I really have no dog in this fight about whether the punishment fits the crime or if these kids had any malicious intent. But do bored teenage boys like to play with fireworks and light shit on fire? As a former one, I'm gonna go with a firm yes.

Absolutely. I recall making

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Absolutely. I recall making molotov cocktails, bonfires, taking apart model rocket engines for the propellent and lighting that off, potato cannons, tinkering with fireworks, thermite, etc.

The difference being that we were at least smart enough to only screw around with such things where no one cared and we couldn't accidentally start a brush fire.


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I'm starting the odds at 10-1 that this incident ends up in some future Trump report on terrorism.


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Depends on where their parents were born. Trump isn't interested in native terrorism.


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If they're white, we'll never hear a word about it. If one of them is hispanic or middle-eastern, though, it'll be the new face of Radical Islamic Terrorism™


White American with European Decent = Just some kids having fun
Anyone else = TERRORIST!


White American with European Decent = Just some kids having fun
Anyone else = TERRORIST!

Just kids?

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My first thought was: just kids. Scare 'em, show 'em the potential personal consequences, then move on.

Then I thought: oh, Concord. A town that is 92% white. Yup, that sounds about right.

But, I wonder: what if these kids were from Lawrence? From Mattapan? What if these kids were Muslim or had a Muslim parent? We can't answer hypothetical, but we do know that in America the statistics are clear: darker skin, harsher punishment; poorer, harsher punishment.

So maybe the kids should be given a break, maybe not. I hope the decision is based on a fair assessment of their intentions and predilections based on past behavior, and not simply a "natural" result of their skin color and parent's wealth, whatever those things happen to be.

Was just reading these

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Was just reading these comments and wondering myself, what if these were two kids from Dorchester putting a bomb on the red line tracks? At the very least, I think you'd be getting a lot more anger about the transit delays.


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Back in the day these enterprising young chemists would get send home, get a stern punishment, and then a scholarship to pursue their interest in material science.

I guess happening along a transit line meant the TP had to take it seriously and expend considerable ($) resources; so you get two kids arrested after doing something stupid with no harm, but a big foul.

There was only "no harm" out

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There was only "no harm" out of sheer luck. This could have gone a lot worse in any number of ways - like if there had been a passing train when this thing ignited, or if the brush fire had spread and actually caused damage to more than just brush.


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Which would warrant a harsher punishment

I knew a kid in middle school that set 50 acres ablaze being stupid. he didn't get arrested, but he was disciplined by his parents and the town/police.


and yet, here we are, with no harm, and what is most likely an accident with no malicious intent behind it.

whats the proper course of action in your mind? criminal records for the children? hefty fines numbering in the thousands?

when you forget to use your turn signal in your car, it can 'go a lot worse in a number of ways' too, but it frequently doesn't. you should still use the turn signal but maybe nobody should put you in jail for accidentally slipping up when it doesn't cause an issue.

you know what would probably build some character? being 'sentenced' to a day in a burn ward of a hospital. nothing like seeing the potential consequences of your own actions, caused by somebody else.

what is most likely an

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what is most likely an accident with no malicious intent behind it.

They were made up of a plastic bottle that contained 2 liquid chemicals that can be purchased over the counter. When the chemicals interact with one another, over a period of time, they heat up and cause a flash fire(emphasis added).

Sure doesn't sound like an accident to me.

are you dense

when somebody throws a ball at me and i swing my bat, i intend to hit the ball and cause a reaction that will send it flying

when it goes through a neighbors window, that is an accident

You ARE dense

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when it goes through a neighbors window, that is an accident

And when you start a fire with an incendiary device, that accident? You accidentally created the device? You accidentally ignited it?

The purpose of hitting a ball with a bat isn't to break a window, it's to play a game. The purpose of igniting an incendiary device is to start a not-very-controllable fire.

you think

they intentionally started that brush fire? i dont

and, unsurprisingly, you're missing the point.

i think they intentionally set off a device that creates fire and it had, to an adult, the predictable outcome of starting a brush fire

that they didn't intend to start.

if its part of a pattern of behavior that suggests i'm wrong then i am wrong, with these two individuals anyway. they are, after all, innocent of any crime currently.


lets just charge them with crimes. in a country that routinely charges legal children as adults for crimes while also denying them the rights they'd have as adults, i see no problem with this.

let this follow them around as long as that record can't be legally expunged, which by the way, is becoming more and more moot: charge them as adults and then their names are released and then whether a record is sealed or not becomes irrelevant, a three second search will let anybody know that they're dealing with a criminal.

i agree this is a good idea to subject children to. or are we dealing with a fantasy reality in which children are treated as children and not adults in the justice system. after all, people live to say that some crimes are so heinous that you must be an adult to even commit them. i would say creating an improvised explosive and detonating it by a rail track certainly qualifies.

so, yes, lets treat them as criminals. because criminalizing the poor judgement of literal children will certainly do a lot to curb such behavior in the future, just like it works so well with drugs and alcohol

i submit

yall win

Scary kids!

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Jail all teens before they do precrimes with household chemicals!

Yes, actually, I do feel like

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Yes, actually, I do feel like criminal charges are appropriate here. They built a homemade incendiary device and used it to set a forest on fire. That absolutely should be criminal. I don't think hefty fines are really appropriate (though the parents should absolutely be billed for emergency services costs and environmental cleanup), but community service definitely would be.

Forgetting to use your turn signal is a terrible analogy though, considering that the turn signal is not actually directly connected to whether or not you move your vehicle. That's why you're taught in driver's ed (or at least I was) that you should never assume someone is turning just because they have their turn signal on. While yes, it is illegal to not use it, and the ticket does carry a pretty hefty fine, using it or not using it does not directly cause anyone harm - the action that can potentially go a lot worse and cause harm is you changing lanes or turning when your path is not clear.

And yes, I agree that forcing these kids to spend some time in a burn ward, seeing the kind of injuries their stupidity could have caused is a fantastic idea - that could even be where they have to do their community service!

my fathers magnifying glass

that i frequently 'borrowed' as a kid to start little fires in the driveway or yard, is also a homemade incendiary device. not as 'advanced' as a plastic bottle and some chemicals, but gee golly, as soon as i got the balls to start using matches (and figured out how to use them without burning my dang thumb) life got interesting

applying the same rhetoric to children playing as we do to people that are out to injure or kill others is dangerous and stupid.

you are dangerous, and stupid.

Oh please

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You keep using ridiculous examples of objects with an innocuous primary purpose that can be used to do damage, and trying to sell the idea that these are analogous to an object whose only purpose is to start an uncontrolled fire. You are much more dangerous and at least as stupid as your father's magnifying glass.

dangerous and stupid

criminalizing acts perpetrated by minor children that aren't done with ill intent and furthermore caused no injury or destruction

using rhetoric that should be reserved for combatants and terrorists to describe said behavior

honestly? but yeah, i'm the troll.

That's a lot

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Resources and money being spent for an outcome that we can get to by similar action that doesn't cost nearly that much, or take up time in our already overburdened court system.

I agree, especially

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I agree, especially considering that they are two young adults old enough to clearly understand the potential outcome of their actions (Age of Reason anyone??), and the fact that they were trespassing along MBTA owned property. And like you said, a good outcome of these charges would be service, but to allow them to get away with it on the thought of "Kids playing?" News flash, they're not kids anymore.

Guess what "kiddos", actions have consequences. Just because they were lucky and no one was hurt, and there was little damage to the area, doesn't change that they CHOSE to do this- or that they could have killed someone. Oh, and let's not forget the hundreds of people that were delayed going home, to work, and appointment (wherever), as a result.

I saw something similar yesterday AM

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I was driving westbound on Soldier's Field Road passing BU yesterday at 7:06 AM and 200 yards ahead of me somebody heading eastbound threw something out their driverside window into the westbound lanes that exploded when it hit the pavement. It swept across the road into the leaves on the esplanade side of the road. As I passed I could see it set 3 small fires.

I kept checking U-HUB yesterday to see if there was anything about it but there never was. I figured the rain put the fires out. Maybe it was the same kids or it was someone else and this is "trending" among some youth.

One hopes

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...that you called in the fire and didn't assume that it would go out on its own.


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'Cause the Statie patrolling the Esplanade and was right there presumably had jurisdiction.


BREAKING: loud music, playing with fire trending among todays youth

Rich kid Poor kid

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Rich white kids don't get arrested they get summons. Poor black kids get arrested not summons.