Wednesday, 29 November 2023

Young girls allegedly set fire at school

UPPER LAKE – Two young girls are in trouble after they allegedly set a fire at their school on Thursday.

The fire was reported at about 12:40 p.m. Thursday at Upper Lake Elementary School on Second Street, according to a report for Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Northshore Fire and Lakeport Fire Protection District personnel were dispatched to the reported structure fire along with sheriff's deputies, who Bauman said were sent to assist with evacuation if it was needed.

While firefighters attacked a fully involved girls bathroom on the south side of the school, deputies learned from school officials that they had two girls, an 11-year-old and a 12-year-old – both from Nice – detained, said Bauman.

The two girls allegedly had been seen by other students lighting pieces of paper inside the bathroom shortly before the fire broke out, Bauman reported.

When deputies questioned the two girls, they learned they had both been playing with a lighter in the bathroom, lighting small pieces of paper on fire, said Bauman.

At one point, one of the girls apparently lit the paper towels in a wall dispenser on fire, threw water on the flames, and then left the bathroom thinking they had extinguished the fire, according to the report.

Fire personnel were on scene for more than an hour extinguishing the bathroom and surrounding structure, Bauman said.

According to school officials, the extent of damage is believed to be between $100,000 and $150,000.

Bauman said both girls were issued citations for felony arson and released to the parents.

He said their cases will be reviewed and adjudicated through the Lake County Probation Department.

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