Local News

Student charged in school bathroom fire

Posted February 25, 2009 2:03 p.m. EST
Updated February 25, 2009 6:31 p.m. EST

— 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.