CHAMPAIGN – A 16-year-old female student at Centennial High School was arrested Thursday for setting a fire that caused the school to be evacuated last week.
Champaign police spokeswoman Joan Walls said detectives arrested the girl about 1 p.m. Thursday on a juvenile charge of aggravated arson and that she was taken to the Champaign County Youth Detention Center.
Walls said police will continue to investigate the incident.
Firefighters were called to the school at 913 S. Crescent Drive, C, about 12:30 p.m. March 6. Students were evacuated due to heavy, black toxic smoke caused by a fire that started in a storage area in the girls' locker room.
Investigators said at the time that someone set a book on fire and placed it on a plastic chair. The chair also started to burn and the fire spread.
Fire and school officials said the fire was partially contained by the quick actions of a janitor who used a chemical fire extinguisher.
Firefighters finished extinguishing the flames with another extinguisher.
Meanwhile, the fire department responded with an investigator Thursday to another fire at the high school.
Champaign fire spokeswoman Dena Schumacher said an investigator was called just before 8 a.m. Thursday after janitors discovered remains of trash that had been set on fire on the stairs at the school.
The fires apparently burned themselves out, she said. There was no damage and no evacuation.
"Our investigators will continue to work with Champaign police," Schumacher said.