NewsIberia Parish


12-year-old accused of starting fire at St. Charles Street elementary school

St. Charles Street elementary fire.jpg
Posted at 10:14 AM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 13:40:43-05

A 12-year-old was arrested on Tuesday following a fire at an elementary school in Jeanerette.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM) says they arrested the student for allegedly setting a fire in a St. Charles Street Elementary school bathroom while classes were underway.

They say the girl was charged with one count of Aggravated Arson.

Around 9:00 a.m. on February 23, the Jeanerette Fire Department requested the assistance of the SFM in investigating a fire at an elementary school located in the 1900 block of St. Charles Street.

SFM says the school conducted a successful evacuation of the 300 students and staff present. Damage was limited to a melted toilet paper dispenser in a girls restroom. Following an assessment of the scene, the fire was determined to have been intentionally set.

After review of school surveillance video, the 12-year-old girl was identified and taken into custody.

In an interview with deputies, the girl allegedly admitted to setting the fire with a lighter she had in her possession. How she accessed the lighter is still under investigation, agents say.

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