Local News

Student charged in school bathroom fire

Posted February 25, 2009

— Wayne County authorities have filed juvenile charges against a Southern Wayne High School student in connection with a fire in a school bathroom on Tuesday.

The 15-year-old, whose name wasn't released because of his age, was charged in a juvenile petition with burning a school building. He was being held Wednesday at the Greenville Juvenile Detention Center.

Several rolls of toilet paper had been piled on a handicapped rail in a stall in a boys bathroom and set on fire, authorities said. The fire also consumed a toilet paper dispenser before Deputy Russell Rice, the school resource officer, and a school staff member were able to extinguish it, authorities said.

About 1,100 students and staff had to evacuate the building, and Rice was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, authorities said.

Investigators reviewed a videotape from a school security camera near the bathroom and identified a student who was in the area shortly before the fire was reported. The student later told investigators that he started the fire because he was bored, but when he couldn't put it out, he returned to his class without telling anyone about it, authorities said.


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  • carolinagirl75 Feb 25, 2009

    colliedave, even a small fire like that would have set the fire alarms off. it's not as if the administration decided to evacuate once they knew about the fire. i'm sure their first awareness of the fire came when the alarms went off. when i was first teaching, i knew a teacher accidentally set off the alarms (and thus caused the evacuation of the school) b/c she burned popcorn really badly.

  • LibertarianTechie Feb 25, 2009

    Publish the boy's name--he needs to be outed. And then make him (NOT his parents) pay for the deputy's hospitalisation, the costs to the fire department, and to the repair of the school.

  • daMoFo Feb 25, 2009

    You're right colliedave. I teach high school and I carry a pail of water around with me all the time. Do you carry a pail of water around with you also colliedave?

    If there is a fire in a school building, the administration is REQUIRED to evacuate the school. Explain to the fire marshall why you kept kids in the building while a fire was allowed to "burn itself out".

  • CherryDarling Feb 25, 2009

    This could have been SO MUCH WORSE! Thank goodness no one was hurt...

  • jlh4jdj Feb 25, 2009

    colliedave-You must be about 16 years old. Your response sounds like the random excuses of a student. The Admin. followed procedure. They didn't know that it was just a small fire. It's better they did it this way than for it to have been a real big fire and not have followed procedure. By the way arson is a criminal offense and the deputy would then take over not the school. I bet you want to be in the ACLU when you grow up.

  • kittiboo Feb 25, 2009

    My comment evidently didn't get through because it suggested that the child was less than a genius- but they will post someone's (albeit funny) comment about peeing a fire out? okeedokey.
    Seriously, though- of course they had to evacuate. We don't practice those drills for nothin'!

  • MadBiker Feb 25, 2009

    I'm sure in a couple of years we will get to see his name and mugshot right here on WRAL.com when his outlet from boredom takes the form of other criminal activities.

  • wwwalker Feb 25, 2009

    He should have peed on it... Talk about excitement. It's not everyday you get to pee a fire out.

  • colliedave Feb 25, 2009

    Let's see: a bored kid (why he is bored is another story) places several rolls of tp on top if each other on a handicaped rail and sets the bottom roll on fire. He isn't smart enough to know the fire will burn itself out. The school admins aren't smart enough to grab a pail of water and put the inferno out and instead evacuated the building. What the kid did was dumb and stupid but it isn't as if he tried to burn the place down.

  • raggy831 Feb 25, 2009

    if he were my son he would not sit down for a long time..send him back to school to clean up his mess! make him work at school with out pay until all fines had been paid, take away his watching tv, playing games on his computer, no ipod, no cell phone. make life hard for him.