Arrest made in connection with fire at Barger Academy
An arrest has been made in connection with the fire at Barger Academy Friday morning. An official with the Fire Investigation Division took an 11-year-old boy into custody and charged him with aggravated arson. The youth was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center for processing.
A fire was discovered around 11:46 a.m. in the boys' bathroom of Barger Academy. By the time firefighters arrived most of the students and faculty had evacuated the building.
Because of the amount of smoke firefighters prepared to battle a significant fire. But discovered it wasn't needed. Firefighters only needed a couple of extinguishers to put out the fire. No injuries were reported.
Six fire companies responded to the alarm.
The fire was contained to the bathroom, but there was a lot of smoke and it spread throughout most of the school. High-powered fans were brought in to ventilate the building, but the cleanup was expected to take several hours, so the decision was made to cancel classes for the remainder of the day. While most of the students were out on the front lawn, school officials were busy contacting parents to get them to pick up their children.
The fire appears to have been deliberately set. An official with the Fire Investigation Division said it appears that someone started a fire in or near a paper towel dispenser in the bathroom.
The dollar loss from this morning's fire was estimated at $10,000.