Local News

Suspect in School Fire Released On Bond

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FAYETTEVILLE — The man investigators say set fire to a Fayetteville high school has been released from the Cumberland County jail.

Shawn Barnes, 31, an administrative assistant at Pine Forest Senior High School, was released on $5,000 bond Wednesday.

Barnes was arrested Monday afternoon for setting the fire. He has since been fired.

Meanwhile, the staff and students at Pine Forest High School are preparing to get back to class followingMonday's fire.

Soot is all over the school, but the principal says the priority is not clean-up, but getting ready for end-of-grade testing. Custodians packed up lockers all morning so students could pick up their belongings.

Students say they are upset that a school employee they looked up to is accused of damaging their school.

"It's just dumb. I don't think there was a point. I know him," says student Tasia Williams. "I can't believe he'd do this. It just disappoints me."

Pine Forest High is closed for the rest of the year. Students will finish off at Pine Forest Middle School beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday.

andMichelle Singer