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West High School Student Arrested in Wednesday Fire

By Chris Klint, Senior Digital Producer, cklint@ktuu.com
Published On: Nov 27 2013 11:12:59 AM AKST
Updated On: Nov 27 2013 03:21:32 PM AKST
AFD Responding to Fire at West High School
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

A male West High School student has been arrested in connection with a fire at the school Wednesday morning, which was extinguished with no injuries reported.

Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Castro says the student's name has not been released, since he is a juvenile and being charged as a minor. Police were able to use surveillance video from the school to help identify the 15-year-old freshman.

"We had taken a male student into custody, and he's been charged with second-degree negligent burning and first-degree terroristic threatening," Castro said.

After being arrested on the two charges, a misdemeanor and felony respectively, the student was subsequently released to his parents.

Anchorage School District officials had no immediate comment Wednesday afternoon on whether the student faces disciplinary action from the district.

Fire dispatchers received reports of a fire in a boy's bathroom at the school, located at 1700 Hillcrest Dr. at 10:57 a.m. Wednesday.

Twelve units were sent to the scene, and when they arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from one room. Dispatchers say sprinklers in the building activated during the blaze, which was reportedly extinguished at 11:10 a.m.

Firefighters at the scene had said the fire was apparently started by juveniles in a toilet paper holder.

During the evacuation, ASD officials and police said students were taken to two separate locations.

"Students and staff are using Romig as a temporary site so they don't have to stand outside, and now we're just waiting for the official call from AFD to resume school," said ASD spokesperson Heather Roach.

A tweet from APD described the location of the fire as "near the science wing" of the school, adding that "children are safe in the auditorium."

Castro says that students were returned to their classrooms between 11:45 a.m. and noon Wednesday.

Channel 2's Austin Baird and Cail Hubert contributed to this story

This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.