Fire marshals arrest student following Rancier blaze - Crime - Mobile Adv

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Fire marshals arrest student following Rancier blaze

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Mason W. Canales | Herald staff writer

Killeen firefighters and fire marshal investigators respond to Rancier Middle School on Hilliard Avenue in Killeen at about 8 a.m. Friday. The school was evacuated after a fire alarm was pulled.

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The Killeen Fire Marshal’s Office arrested a student after a Friday morning blaze caused an evacuation at Rancier Middle School.

“There was a sixth-grade student who intentionally set a toilet-paper dispenser on fire,” said Chris Mahlstedt, a Killeen fire investigator. “He was arrested and charged with arson.”

Investigators wouldn’t release the name of the student because he is a minor.

The Killeen Fire Department responded to Rancier Middle School at 8 a.m. after a fire alarm was activated on the campus, stated a news release from the Killeen Independent School District.

The school’s staff evacuated all the students and employees, but “the situation was quickly isolated and contained,” stated the release.

After the fire started, another student went into the bathroom and found the blaze, Mahlstedt said.

That student notified an administrator who grabbed a fire extinguisher and quelled the blaze.

Once the Killeen Fire Department determined there was no threat to the students’ safety, the children and staff were assembled in the gym before returning to class, according to Killeen ISD.

The damage was contained mostly to the plastic dispenser and the toilet paper, but there was heat damage to the floor and wall of the bathroom, Mahlstedt stated.

“It really didn’t spread far,” he said.

One administrator was treated for asthma and smoke inhalation on the scene.

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7474

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Mason W. Canales | Herald staff writer

Killeen firefighters and fire marshal investigators respond to Rancier Middle School on Hilliard Avenue in Killeen at about 8 a.m. Friday. The school was evacuated after a fire alarm was pulled.

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