16-year-old arrested in Monticello school fire

MONTICELLO — A 16-year-old Monticello High School student has been arrested in connection with a fire that occurred last week at Monticello's Washington Elementary School.

In a news release, Monticello Police Chief Michael Galloway said he expected the high school boy to be charged with aggravated arson.

Fire officials said the 12:30 p.m. fire last Thursday began in a toilet paper dispenser and spread to a light fixture and ceiling, causing some damage to the restroom as well as smoke damage to a room across the hallway. There were no injuries.

Students were evacuated from the school after a fire alarm sounded. The 350 Washington Elementary students were back in their classrooms an hour later, but high school students who use the south wing did not return to those six rooms until the next day.

Police say the youth had been released to the custody of his parents pending a court appearance.

According to Monticello Superintendent Vic Zimmerman, the accused student has been suspended from school, and he "could face additional disciplinary action."

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