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Teen charged with setting fire

February 15, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

A 13-year-old boy was charged with setting a fire in a boys bathroom Monday that forced a short evacuation of Northern Middle School, Hagerstown Assistant City Fire Marshal Doug DeHaven said Tuesday morning.

DeHaven said the boy was charged through the Department of Juvenile Services with second-degree malicious burning, reckless endangerment and disruption of school activities.

He said the boy did not indicate why he allegedly set the fire.

Delinquent involvement in fires is "not going to be tolerated," DeHaven said. "We take it very seriously. Any situation at school, we're just not going to tolerate."

School staff pulled an alarm after discovering the situation at about 8:30 a.m., Washington County Public Schools spokeswoman Carol Mowen said Monday. Students and staff evacuated the building and Hagerstown Fire Department responded to the scene, she said.

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"Some paper products in the restroom area were smoldering," Mowen said.

Students returned to the building within 15 minutes, Mowen said.

Classes adjacent to the bathroom where the fire was found were moved to other areas while the smoke cleared, Mowen said.

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