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Fire at Lenz Elementary School caused by arson
by Tribune Staff
Dec 03, 2010 | 703 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO — An investigation into a fire that started at Lenz Elementary School early Thursday was caused by arson. Two suspects, both students from the school, have been arrested and charged with burglary, damage to school property, conspiracy and arson.

At about 2:15 a.m., the school’s fire alarms sounded and its sprinklers went off in the music room. The Reno Fire Department responded and found smoke at the back of the main building’s multipurpose room, which also serves as the school’s music room and cafeteria. Firefighters entered the building and put out a small fire that had been contained by the sprinkler system. After the fire was extinguished, the investigation showed it to be arson, which led to a Washoe County School District School Police investigation.

During the course of the school police investigation, a parent brought their student to the school. The student was interviewed, admitted to his involvement in the arson and was then arrested. The investigation led to the arrest of a second student.

“We appreciate the efforts of the suspect’s parent in bringing the student back to school so that we could resolve this crime in an expedient manner,” said Lt. Dale Richardson of the School Police.

Chris Smith, the District’s emergency management director, said fire damage was moderate but reparable and about 3 inches of water in the building were being removed. The total damage is estimated to cost between $25,000 and $75,000.

“The proactive approach that the Reno Fire Department took to respond to the school helped save it,” Smith said. “The school district’s response, in conjunction with the fire department, has been swift and effective and we are looking forward to resuming normal school operations on Monday.”

Area Superintendent Nancy Sanger said she was grateful for the collaboration between all the entities involved.
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