Firefighters respond to Paris Elementary School on High Street for a report of a fire Tuesday morning. A student was charged with arson in connection with two bathroom fires. A.M. Sheehan/Advertiser Democrat

PARIS — An 11-year-old girl was charged with setting fire to two bathrooms at the Paris Elementary School on Tuesday.

According to a statement from the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the sixth-grader was charged with arson and released to the custody of her parents. The fires were reported just before 9 a.m. in two girls’ bathrooms, one on a lower level and a second on the main floor.

Investigators say paper products were set on fire at both locations.

There were no injuries.

Wednesday classes were canceled to allow a contractor to clean up soot and other damage.

The fire on the main floor went out by itself, but moderate fire and smoke damage was reported to the bathroom on the lower level, which was extinguished by staff and firefighters, SAD 17 Superintendent Rick Colpitts said.


A staff member pulled an alarm and the school was evacuated. Elementary students were bused to Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris for the rest of the day.

Local fire and police officials responded, along with four investigators from the Fire Marshal’s Office who worked with the school’s resource officer to identify the student involved.

There is very little fire damage to the building, but Colpitts said the soot from the fire will require considerable cleaning by a third-party contractor.

“We want to be sure that students are safe when they return to school,” Colpitts said.

Fire officials turned the building back to the school district around 1 p.m., he said.

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