POCATELLO — Two children playing with matches started a blaze in evergreen shrubs that quickly spread and charred the side of a home Wednesday afternoon at 1056 Northgate Drive.

    Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze before it caused any significant structural damage to the home.

    “That’s the most important thing, that everyone’s okay,” said Trena Roper, who indicated the extent of the damage to her home, other than some blackened siding, trim and soffit and a broken window, was “just a little bit of a smoke smell.”

    “We still have our house,” she said.

    Roper’s 7-year-old son and a 9-year-old playmate sat down on the curb with Pocatello Fire Capt. Ron Davies after the event, discussing what had occurred.

    “They were pretty hesitant,” Davies said. “It took quite a bit of talking before we got them to admit they were playing with matches in the bushes there.”

    Davies said the two youngsters will be required to go through a three hour assessment and education session, which is a regular requirement when kids start fires.

    “Once a kid starts playing with matches, a lot of times they’re prone to escalating issues with them,” Davies said.  “Basically what they do is an hour and one-half assessment with the kids and an hour and one-half of education. If during the assessment they feel that the kid’s got some issues or some problems, then they will refer them to professional counselors to continue on with it.”